Recent weeks have seen an escalation of violence against the Rohingya in Rakhine, the poorest state of Myanmar. A tide of displaced people is seeking refuge from atrocities—they are fleeing both on foot and by boat to Bangladesh. It is the latest surge of displaced people, and is exacerbated by the recent activity of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).Religious and ethnic differences have been widely considered the leading cause of the persecution. But it is becoming increasingly hard to believe that there are not other factors at play. Especially given that Myanmar is home to 135 official recognised ethnic groups (the Rohingya were removed from this list in 1982).In analysing the recent violence, much of the western media has focused on the role of the military and the figure of the de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Her status as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been widely questioned since the latest evidence of atrocities emerged.
Rohingya: The oil economics and land-grab politics behind Myanmar’s refugee crisis