104 Arakanese refugees starve to death
Problems of Arakanese Muslims linger. They fled to Bangladesh to escape the oppression of the Myanmarese administration leaving behind their lands, but are now striving to survive under hard condition
Bangladesh, South Asia, Myanmar 01.03.2010

Myanmar is a southeastern Asian state that used to be known as Burma until 1989. Buddhists form the majority of country’s 50 million population, while Muslims form four percent. Basic rights and liberties of the Myanmarese people are suppressed by the military junta regime and the Muslim population is widely oppressed.  

Arakan (officially Rakhine State) is a state located in northwestern Myanmar. Rohingya Muslims and Buddhist Rakhine ethnic group constitute the majority of the population in the state. Islam spread in Arakan through Muslim merchants and dervishes who came to the region after the 8th century. It is known that an Islamic state was established in Arakan in 1430 and it remained independent for 354 years until 1784 when the Buddhist kingdom invaded the country.    

Arakanese Muslims have been living under widespread pressure and restrictions since 1948 when their land was occupied by the Buddhist Myanmarese state. Muslims are not allowed to get married, travel and attend school. Muslims children are only allowed to attend primary school. Restrictions on travel are so rigid that Muslims have to get permission to visit their relatives in another village or town.  

Almost half of the four million Muslims in Arakan had to flee to escape oppression. Forced to leave their homeland, Arakanese Muslims are struggling to survive in countries where they have taken shelter in

Almost half of the four million Muslims in Arakan had to flee to escape oppression. Forced to leave their homeland, Arakanese Muslims struggling to survive in countries they have taken shelter. 

No peace for Arakanese in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, a popular destination for Arakanese Muslims, there are around 600,000 Arakanese refugees. However, these refugees are having countless difficulties in refugee camps of Bangladesh. They do not have the right employment and are at the risk of starvation.  

They need help

Arakanese refugee Ahmet Samir called on the Turkish people for help, saying “The situation is deplorable that 104 refugees, 52 of them children and 30 women, in Kutupalong camp starved to death. We are afraid more people will die from hunger unless aid is extended to the camps urgently.”

Charitable people who want to help Arakanese refugees can donate through the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation.

The IHH delivers aid to the refugees on a regular basis. However, more donations are needed to deliver adequate and steady aid. Your donations will help ease the suffering of the Arakanese people who had to flee their land and are living in squalid condition in neighboring countries.

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