For those following developments out of conflict-wracked Arakan State, 24 August was arguably a “good news” day: The Rakhine State Advisory Commission released its report, one year in the making, with a list of dozens of recommendations that, if implemented, had the potential to better the lives of Arakan State’s residents and ease some of the inter-religious tension that has plagued the state for years.
Hours later, however, militants of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) staged a coordinated assault on several police posts in the state’s north, dealing a severe blow to any hopes of reconciliation or progress in the troubled state. State security forces’ subsequent counter-insurgency campaign has triggered a flood of Rohingya refugees into neighbouring Bangladesh, drawing global condemnation.
It is within this context that DVB Debate held its discussion, “Why does the international community focus on the Rakhine situation?”, less than two days after the 25 August ARSA attacks. Here, we revisit the Debate, featuring panelists from the realms of politics, human rights and journalism.