Thursday, May 29, 2014

Democracy and Apartheid in Burma

Nicholas Kristoff finds that in Burma as elsewhere democracy for the majority often means persecution for minorities:
Welcome to Myanmar, where tremendous democratic progress is being swamped by crimes against humanity toward the Rohingya, a much-resented Muslim minority in this Buddhist country. Budding democracy seems to aggravate the persecution, for ethnic cleansing of an unpopular minority appears to be a popular vote-getting strategy.
These conflicts are old, going back at least to the early nineteenth century. So the new, quasi-democratic government did not create them. But it is discouraging to see how little concern Burma's democratic activists have shown for the Rohingya, and how readily ethnic hatred can be mobilized in a democratic society.

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