A forgotten conflict

Student raises awareness for issues in Myanmar

Myanmar, or should I say Burma, is a middle-sized country located in southeast Asia. The country gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1948. Until 2011, the country was under a military dictatorship.

This dictatorship and other problems resulted in several civil wars and ethnic conflicts that have gripped the country since independence. But even today, now that the country is a Republic, many ethnic conflicts and wars are still ongoing.

This has been labeled as the longest civil war in the history of the planet. Multiple ethnic groups including the Kachin, Karen, and Rohingya, have been persecuted by the government since 1948. Recently the Rohingya conflict has gained national attention.

The Rohingya are a Muslim minority group in Myanmar. Due to the persecution against them, an estimated 655,000 to 700,000 Rohingya have fled to neighboring Bangladesh, where Muslims are the majority.

Myanmar is a majority Buddhist country, with almost 90% of the country practicing Theravada Buddhism.

The military and authorities are not very appreciative of minority religions, and over 10,000 civilians have been killed in the conflict. All of these events have culminated into a massive humanitarian crisis, because of the migrants attempting to relocate to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh, another developing country, does not have the resources to accept this massive amount of people. As I write about this terrible conflict that has been going on for decades, I wonder how many Americans know about this.

I quickly asked the other students on the newspaper staff, and not one of them have heard about this problem. But who is to blame? In my entire life, I have never heard about the Rohingya Conflict or any of the problems in Myanmar once.

The media needs to do a better job of spotlighting global conflicts like this. People are dying in Myanmar and no one knows about it. This is another terrible internal conflict that has been going on for much too long. Countless civil wars and internal conflicts are happening as I write this article in Sudan, Yemen, Indonesia, Syria, the Central African Republic, Myanmar… the list goes on and on.

In my opinion, these conflicts are pointless and world leaders should be working on solutions to these problems, and the world should be more knowledgeable about the conflicts that affect people around the world every single day.