Myanmar: Individual Rights vs. State Rights

It is a fact that the Myanmar government has by law denied the Rohingya people citizenship and rights. It is also a fact that a minor insurgency arose among them and attacks were made by them against Burmese government forces. Finally, it is a fact that Myanmar acted to suppress this insurgency with military action in order to preserve their sovereignty over the Rakhine state.

So who is in the wrong? The Myanmar state is fighting for the State’s right to sovereignty, and the Rohingya people are fighting for their individual rights. I assert that the Myanmar state is in the wrong. Since the Rohingya people are not permitted to be citizens of Myanmar, they are neither represented by nor are a part of the Myanmar state. Therefore, the lands and property long held by the Rohingya cannot reasonably be said to be owned by and subject to the sovereignty the Myanmar state. Furthermore, since the Myanmar state consists of and represents only the Burmese people, the Burmese forces which have been stationed in Rohingya territory are occupying lands which do not belong to them and subjugating an otherwise independent group of people. Therefore, this is not a case of a state rightfully combating a criminal/rebellious element, but is instead a case of a state punishing a small subjugated state that wants out of their subjugation.

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