Any doubts?

  1. Profile photo of Saravana Uportal Saravana Uportal

    Can anybody give reliable source to read about India’s refugee policy?

    1. Profile photo of Rohit Pande Rohit Pande

      This article predates our interest in UPSC 😉

      But still, google gives it a pristine top rank among the search –

  2. Profile photo of Saravana Uportal Saravana Uportal

    While there are many doors kept closed worldwide, Does India’ “open door policy” towards refugees seem emotional and endangers national security?

    1. Profile photo of Rohit Pande Rohit Pande

      This should help understand the conflict!

      Of course there would be the endangerment to national security and issues like that. But we have been a nation which has accepted the persecuted. The first time I read something like this was in Vivekananda’s Chicago address.

      1. Profile photo of Saravana Uportal Saravana Uportal

        Thanks Rohit!

Rohingya refugees to be relocated on remote island

  1. Relocation: Bangladeshi authorities have decided to relocate thousands of Myanmar refugees to a thinly populated island in the Bay of Bengal
  2. Why? To avoid adverse socioeconomic impacts in the mainland
  3. The Rohingya refugees, including those who moved into the country from Myanmar in the recent months, would be relocated from Cox’s Bazar district to Thengar Char, an island in the Bay of Bengal
  4. Thengar Char is about 30,000 hectares in area and more than 37 miles from the mainland
  5. Living in different camps: Rohingyas are currently living in different camps in Cox’s Bazar including Nayapara, Leda and Kutupalang — apart from other parts of the country
  6. According to the government, over 4,00,000 Myanmar nationals, including the recently-arrived 69,000, are now living in Cox’s Bazar after fleeing military persecution in Myanmar’s Rakhine State
  7. Government agencies, meanwhile, reported that “networks” of human trafficking and narcotic drug smuggling have emerged in the Cox’s Bazar region due to the “vulnerable” nature of this refugee population


These are some minor developments.

Myanmar Army committed crimes against humanity: UN

  1. Source: A report by the UN human rights office
  2. Myanmar’s security forces have committed mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya Muslims and burned their villages since October in a campaign that probably amounts to crimes against humanity and possibly “ethnic cleansing”
  3. Children killed: Witnesses testified to “the killing of babies, toddlers, children, women and elderly; opening fire at people fleeing; burning of entire villages; massive detention; massive and systematic rape and sexual violence; deliberate destruction of food and sources of food”
  4. The devastating cruelty to which these Rohingya children have been subjected is unbearable
  5. Around 66,000 people have fled from the Muslim-majority northern part of Rakhine State to Bangladesh since Myanmar’s military launched a security operation in response to attacks on police border posts on Oct. 9
  6. The UN humanitarian office has recently put the figure at 69,000


Not important directly. Just know about the issue as it can be quoted in question on human rights and civil war like questions.

[op-ed snap] The nowhere people next door


  1. The Rohingyas are people struck by tragedy: persecuted at home in Myanmar, rejected or barely tolerated abroad, and sacrificed at the altar of strategic calculations by powerful neighbours
  2. To add to it, the refugee crisis in Europe has overshadowed their plight
  3. Both institutionally discriminated and denied basic human rights in a legally-sanctioned manner as well as removed from the mainstream, over a million Rohingyas have no land they can call home

Anatomy of a tragedy:

  1. Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, neighbouring Bangladesh, are not recognised by the Myanmar government as an official ethnic group and are therefore denied citizenship
  2. Most Rohingyas are not qualified to be citizens of Myanmar as per the 1982 Citizenship Law, which was promulgated by the erstwhile military junta
  3. It is claimed that there were no Rohingyas in Myanmar before the British brought ‘Bengalis’ to Burma
  4. But there is sufficient evidence to show that the Rohingyas pre-existed the British-engineered migration from present-day Bangladesh to Burma
  5. Even those who arrived in Burma post-1823 could not go back to Bangladesh now given that they have no citizenship claims there. This effectively makes them a stateless people.

Mass exodus:

  1. The result has been horrifying: hundreds of people have been killed at the hands of the military, many more hundreds have disappeared
  2. Scores of women are sexually assaulted, villages razed to the ground, and tens of thousands have fled the country
  3. A large number of those escaping the brutal violence end up in the well-oiled trafficking networks of the region who smuggle them out for huge amounts of money
  4. Some die en route, some make it to the borders of neighbouring countries only to be turned away: hordes, including little children, often get stranded at sea

Government inquiry:

  1. Myanmar denies that its military has committed any wrong
  2. A government-appointed inquiry committee recently concluded that “there were no cases of genocide and religious persecution in the region”
  3. What makes the anti-Rohingya violence in Myanmar even more distressing is that all of this is now happening under the stewardship of Aung San Suu Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her courageous and inspiring “non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights”

Dilemmas of a Nobel Peace laureate:

  1. Suu Kyi’s precarious political position makes it hard for her to respond to the crisis as effectively as she could have
  2. Despite the return of democracy in 2015, the military continues to have a strong hold over the civilian government in Myanmar, especially on key issues such as defence, border affairs and home affairs
  3. The country’s constitution also reserves one-fourth of the seats in Parliament for the military
  4. And though Ms. Suu Kyi’s party is in power, she herself is barred from becoming the country’s president (she holds the post of State Counsellor) since her children are British citizens
  5. Under such circumstances, her ability to take on the powerful military establishment remains limited
  6. She is clearly floundering in her attempts to reconcile the political utility of Myanmar’s quasi-democracy, which is a result of her decades-long struggle, and the moral question of the Rohingyas’ human rights
  7. For example, she has not fully acknowledged the extent of violence the Rohingyas are systematically subjected to by the government she leads

Geostrategic considerations:

  1. The predicament of the Rohingyas is also a result of contemporary geopolitical realities and strategic calculations by key stakeholders in the region and elsewhere
  2. The Western world is busy with the unfolding of events in Syria and the resultant refugee crisis
  3. Hence they would not want to get bogged down with the Rohingyas, whose plight has no direct bearing on the West’s interests
  4. For Beijing, its relationship with Myanmar’s Generals is important to gain access to the country’s natural resources, and recruiting Myanmar for China’s larger economic goals which include opening a land corridor to the Bay of Bengal

India’s Case:

  1. India, a traditional home for Myanmar’s pro-democracy activists, has been reluctant to either speak out about the violence against the Rohingyas or accommodate them in significant numbers
  2. Beijing’s closeness to Myanmar clearly worries New Delhi
  3. Its reluctance also comes from the fact that Myanmar’s assistance is seen as significant in dealing with the insurgency in the Northeast
  4. Moreover, should we expect China, or for that matter India, to speak out against Myanmar’s human rights violations when both have enough human rights skeletons in the cupboard?
  5. In any case, the Rohingyas are of no strategic value to anyone
  6. New Delhi’s record of accommodating the Rohingyas is manifestly better than that of Beijing as it has accepted thousands of Rohingyas over the past many years
  7. Today, many Rohingyas are either turned away while trying to enter the country or sent to jail for illegal entry

Need for imaginative diplomacy:

  1. Although New Delhi’s reluctance to speak out publicly about the violations against the Rohingyas is understandable, it can ill afford to ignore the crisis in Myanmar
  2. For one, as and when peace returns to Myanmar, India can ask the latter to rehabilitate the Rohingyas
  3. Second, a stable and democratic Myanmar will naturally gravitate towards New Delhi
  4. Third, the Rohingya crisis, if it remains unsettled, can become a path toward radicalisation and pose a greater security threat for India
  5. There are reports of increasing radicalisation among sections of the Rohingya community

New Delhi should use creative diplomacy to persuade Myanmar to resolve the Rohingya crisis. It should perhaps consider appointing a special envoy for this purpose who should hold discreet negotiations with Myanmar’s military, Ms. Suu Kyi, Dhaka and Beijing in order to bring an end to the crisis.


This article has sufficient points for a good Mains answer. Also know about the important places and people like ‘who are Rohingyas, where are they from?’ etc. from prelims perspective.


  1. The new bill, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, proposes that Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians entering India from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan not be considered as “illegal immigrants”

[op-ed snap] Speak up for the Rohingyas

  1. Context: As a response to protests in East and South Asia, Myanmar called for a special meeting with Foreign Ministers of ASEAN in Yangon
  2. The crisis has already killed 130 Rohingya Muslims, and has left dozens of buildings in their villages torched
  3. Around 30,000 Rohingyas have been displaced internally and thousands have tried to flee to neighbouring countries, especially Bangladesh, through perilous routes
  4. China and India have remained mostly passive on the long-standing Rohingya refugee crisis, that has direct geopolitical implications for both countries
  5. China and India share a border with Myanmar and have vested economic interests in the country owing to trade and investment ties
  6. India has a robust civil society, media, and human rights groups, but there are hardly any voices on the pathetic plight of Rohingya Muslims
  7. India: According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, there are around 9,000 Rohingyas registered in Delhi and thousands more unregistered living in other parts of the country
  8. If India wants to project itself as a regional leader, it has to rise above narrow economic and geopolitical interests and take a stance consistent with the moral and spiritual values with which it identifies
  9. The crisis not only holds humanitarian significance, but also bears security implications for India and the region
  10. The persecuted Rohingya Muslims are likely to provide fertile recruiting grounds for extremist groups
  11. The UN has declared the group as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world


India has a good track record of providing humanitarian assistance and facilitating smooth repatriation of refugees from the neighbourhood. However, that spirit seems to be missing today in the case of the Rohingyas.


  1. Despite living in Myanmar for decades, the Rohingyas have no legal standing and are seen as illegal settlers from Bangladesh
  2. There are restrictions on them in areas such as land ownership, marriage, employment, education, and movement
  3. In the 2014 census, Myanmar officials said they would not accept those who registered themselves as Rohingyas
  4. The temporary ID cards which were given to the minority community were also revoked in 2015 as result of protests from Buddhist majority groups

[op-ed snap] Rohingya Muslims being persecuted

  1. Background: Humanitarian crisis in Myanmar after the military crackdown on “Islamist jihadists” in the Rakhine State, home to more than one million Rohingya Muslims
  2. A new wave of migration of Rohingyas to neighbouring countries has begun since then
  3. How: Army denies targeting civilians, but satellite images taken after the start of the crackdown indicate that hundreds of buildings were burnt down
  4. Reports suggest that those who tried to flee the country were shot dead
  5. The migrants are not welcome in Myanmar’s neighbourhood either
  6. Why: Many in the Buddhist-majority country call Rohingyas illegal immigrants from Bangladesh though they have been living in Rakhine for generations
  7. The operation in Rakhine shows the change of government hasn’t brought any meaningful difference to Myanmar’s most disadvantaged sections
  8. The army still remains a powerful institution. It controls the security, defence and border ministries besides wielding considerable economic power

Bangladesh seeks peaceful solution to Rohingya crisis

  1. What: Bangladesh has expressed “great concern” over the ongoing crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine State
  2. Reason: A military operation against “Islamist jihadists” has triggered a humanitarian emergency
  3. Bangladesh’s has handed a formal letter to Myanmar asking the authorities to intervene so that the Rohingya Muslims fleeing the conflict-zone can return to their homes
  4. Tension has been rife on the Myanmar-Bangladesh border
  5. Militants allegedly linked to Aqa Mul Mujahidin group launched attacks on Myanmar’s border police and the army
  6. The Myanmar Army has since been conducting operations in Rakhine, home for the country’s over a million Rohingya people
  7. The UNHCR on Nov 18 urged Bangladesh to keep its border with Myanmar open for the Rohingyas

MHA to hold meet on Rohingya Muslims

  1. Meeting will be attended by the Principal Secretaries (Home) of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
  2. According to MHA estimates, over one lakh Rohingya Muslims have settled in these States.
  3. There are reports suggesting that radical groups may make an attempt to recruit some members of the community, which is a cause of concern.

[cd explains] The Rohingya Conflict


Dhaka plans to relocate Rohingya

Up to 6,000 Rohingya, Bangladeshi migrants stranded

  1. Attacks on members of the religious minority, have in the past 3 years left up to 280 people dead and forced 140,000 others from their homes.
  2. Around 800,000 Muslim Rohingyas live in Burma with around 80% living in the western state of Rakhine.
  3. Most of them have been denied citizenship by the Burmese government.
  4. The United Nations consider the Rohingya one of the world’s most persecuted minorities.

:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.

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