The Persecution of the Rohingya: Challenges to the Transformation of Myanmar

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Series Details No.90, September 2017
Publication Date 29/09/2017
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The Polish Institute of International Affairs is an analytical institution established by an act of Parliament in 1996 to carry out research and provide expertise in international affairs. PISM disseminates information on contemporary international issues and maintains contacts with academic and political centres in Poland and abroad. The Institute runs courses for public servants, maintains a library (open to the public; 165,000 books and journals), organises conferences, and publishes books, periodicals and documents on Polish foreign policy and international matters.

The funding for PISM comes from the budget. The director is appointed by the prime minister for a term of five years, following consultation with the minister of foreign affairs. The minister supervises the Institute and appoints its advisory council, which includes a representative of the President of the Republic of Poland, academics and officials.The Myanmar army operation in Rakhine State in September 2017 forced more than 400,000 civilians of the Rohingya minority to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. The military actions were condemned internationally and accusations that the government was accepting 'ethnic cleansing' arose. The situation must be viewed in the broader context of the political transformation of the country and the peace process with its ethnic minorities. The actions show that real power in the country still rests with the army, which might use the crisis to stop the democratisation process ongoing since 2011. Myanmar’s foreign partners need to insist on the return of the refugees and full integration into society in line with the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State.

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