From the outside, ASEAN has been testing the limits of its non-interference policy in ways never done before, being a diplomatic bridge to Myanmar while pressing it to address international criticism for its treatment of its Rohingya minority. But from inside Myanmar, ASEAN’s role in the Rakhine issue is far from well known, or cared for.
There are now more than 910,000 mainly Rohingya refugees in camps located in Bangladesh, living in what are the world’s biggest refugee settlements, without much hope of relocation or safe repatriation to Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state. Their numbers increased greatly after more than 700,000 Rohingya fled across the border to Bangladesh in the wake of clearing operations by Myanmar’s military in August 2017.
Aung Zaw Min