December 27, 2012
“The Burmese military has clearly embarked on a policy of ridding the country of ethnic Rohingyas by any possible means. Official claims that the refugees are “illegal immigrants” – Asia Watch
An enclave is part of a country geographically separated from the main part by the surrounding foreign territory. A great deal of works has been done by the military’s civilian collaborators on the province of Arakan (Rakhine province) claiming that there is the existence of an enclave in Burma. Most prominent of the authors is Aye Chan. Aye Chan, a native of Burma’s Arakan (Rakhine) province, says there is an enclave in Arakan.
(1) His work even outlines the common issues of dispute surrounding the Rohingyas with the Rakhines. This doesn’t seem to be an ordinary enclave. This enclave is Aye Chan’s portrayal of Burma’s Rohingya people in the Mayu frontier of the Arakan state. Aye Chan identifies the Rohingyas as the non-natives of Burma who, he claims, illegally settled in this region of Burma’s North-Western province. This paper is a detailed review of the claims. It is important to understand the issues raised by Aye Chan, for; Aye Chan’s article creates trepidation and suggests to the xenophobic Burmese the issues to consider dealing with the Rohingyas, along with a means to address them. Aye Chan’s article is popular among xenophobic Burmese people as an intellectual work of excellence. It was also published in several other Burmese journals and is popular among anti-Rohingya ultranationalists. A review of the work shows, it is a typical reflection of the contemporary state of Burmese scholarship on ethnic minorities. In addition to its Rakhine version of the Rohingya history, genocide readers will find it bearing the warning signs of the Rohingya people’s on-going torment in Arakan. Aye Chan’s present work is important to consider for its unique version of inter-racial relations of some significance that defy academic understanding of Rohingya history and culture. As we will see below he has given a scholastic face to his xenophobic work. As part of a growing contemporary Arakanse popular literature, his goal here seems less erudite and more to demonize the Rohingyas to create fear among the Burmese people.