The Rohingya conflict is one of the most talked out issue in the World. This issue is going on for few decades however the fresh conflict was erupted between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state in late August. Though it seems a conflict of power between two ethnic groups, however we have to deep down to see the real game here.

This conflict is apparently fanned by external global players, says Dmitry Mosyakov, director of the Centre for Southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. According to the academic, the conflict has at least three dimensions.

Game against China

The century-long conflict is used by external players to undermine Southeast Asian stability, especially given the fact that what is at stake are vast reserves of hydrocarbons located offshore of the Rakhine state.

“This region has a huge gas field named Than Shwe after the general who had long ruled Burma, and additionally, the coastal zone of Arakan [Rakhine] almost certainly contains oil hydrocarbons.”

China was the first Nation which took the notice of this opportunity. China attracted towards this area when massive Rakhine energy reserves were discovered in 2004.

China acted fast to tap this opportunity and by 2013 China completed oil and natural gas pipelines, which connect Myanmar’s port of Kyaukphyu with the Chinese city of Kunming in Yunnan province. This oil pipeline allows Beijing to deliver Middle Eastern and African crude bypassing the Malacca Straits, while the gas pipeline is transporting hydrocarbons from Myanmar’s offshore fields to China.

Although there are certain internal causes behind the Rohingya crisis, it could also be fueled by external players, most notably, the United States.

Myanmar’s destabilization may affect China’s energy projects and create a pocket of instability at Beijing’s doorstep. Given the ongoing crisis between the US and North Korea, another Chinese neighbor, Beijing may soon find itself caught in the crossfires.

Fueling Muslim extremism in Southeast Asia

As we said earlier the conflict that started about a century ago has gradually escalated since 2011, hitting its peak in 2012 when thousands of Muslim families sought asylum in the special refugee camps on the country’s territory or fled to Bangladesh. Yet another escalation started in 2016.

The recent Rohingya crisis started on August 25 when Muslim insurgents of Rohingya origin attacked security posts in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. The tough response of the country’s authorities triggered violent clashes, which claimed the lives of at least 402 people. However, according to some estimates, up to 3,000 Muslims were killed during the recent conflict.

Meanwhile, the Burma Task Force, which comprises a number of organizations funded by Western NGO’s, have been actively operating in Myanmar since 2013 calling upon the international community to stop what they call “the genocide of the Rohingya Muslim minority group. The Council of Foreign Relation’s (CFR) 2003 document entitled “Burma: Time for Change,” which announced the establishment of the group insisted that “democracy… cannot survive in Burma without the help of the United States and the international community.”

These Western NGO’s And Organizations look for religious, ethnic or social contradictions, chooses the model of action for one of these options or their combination and tries to warm them up.

These Organizations are maintaining a constant pressure on Myanmar Government for better treatment of Rohingyas, these Organizations are running smear campaigns to malign the name of Myanmar government.

Attempt to sow discord within ASEAN

On the other hand, it appears that some established global economies are seeking to contain the rapid economic development of ASEA nations, by instigating inner strife within the bloc.

The academic opined that the globalist management policy envisages sowing discord in stable regional formations. By fuelling regional conflicts external players jump at the opportunity to gain control over sovereign states and exert considerable pressure on them.


Manish Sharma

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