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Myanmar's Oppressed Minorities (Final Thoughts)

This is the final article in the series: Myanmar's Oppressed Minorities.  For previous articles in the series, click the following links:

The Misunderstood Roots of Burma's Rohingya Crisis
The Atlantic's Krishnadev Cualamur wrote this article to shed light on the stance Myanmar's government has taken.  The information within is of vital importance to anyone truly wanting to understand why so much violence is unfolding.


Denied Existence

The articles in the series focused on Myanmar's treatment of its citizens and how ethnic groups have been driven to refugee camps in neighboring countries.  And while those countries offer more safety than Myanmar, they haven't exactly welcomed the refugees with open arms.  Bangladesh continues to deny citizenship, even for refugees that have lived there for more than two decades.  Thailand, like most of Myanmar's other neighbors, has banned refugees from even leaving the camps.  
Citing their own problems, such as high unemployment and scarce resources, most of these nations refuse to even officially accept Myanmar's victims as official refugees.  Being denied refugee status means one cannot legally obtain jobs or apply for aid.  Lack of official refugee status also limits the ability of the United Nations to provide aid.  Slaughtered in their home country and unwanted by their neighbors, Myanmar's ethnic groups confront a bleak future - one in which the world tells them their friends, their parents, their children, they do not and should not exist.


Final Thoughts
No matter the ethnic group, in Myanmar, the stories sound the same.  Survivors of the perilous journeys to refugee camps are often left with battered bodies suffered at the hands of bullets, bombs, and land mines. Many have lost limbs.  The fate of family and friends who didn't make it to the camp? Either killed or enslaved after watching their crops confiscated and their villages burned.
For women and girls, that fate is often precluded by rape and public humiliation. Making matters worse, Myanmar's military, fearing further international sanctions, often restricts aid and tries to stop its persecuted ethnicities from leaving. Essentially, the military wishes these ethnic minorities didn't exist and actively pursues their eradication. Increasingly, the various minority groups are driven to reciprocate the violence by joining defense groups, rebel armies, and perhaps terrorist organizations.  Decades of past and present bloodshed paint only a grim picture for Myanmar's people.

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