The Arakan Conflict and Nationalist Threats In Burma

Written by Sai Latt

MONDAY, 23 JULY 2012

As society liberalizes after 60 years, new strains appear

The continuing strife in western Burma signifies a dangerous future for an ethnically diverse country that has experienced ethnic conflicts for more than 60 years. It is not simply a campaign against the minority Rohingya as a group. It is a reflection of a tragic political hangover of the nation-state system that operates through an ominous and troubling nationalism.

The Arakan conflict is about nation-state building and state territorialization, which are being articulated by mainstreaming a singular ethno-religious identity — Buddhist Burmese, the basis of official nationalism. The root cause of the historical antagonism between the dominant Burman leadership and ethnic groups has been reactivated.

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