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A Handbook of Terrorism and Insurgency in Southeast Asia

A Handbook of Terrorism and Insurgency in Southeast Asia

Elgar original reference

Edited by Andrew T.H. Tan

This timely and significant book seeks to explain the deep-seated complexities of terrorism and insurgency in Southeast Asia. In the aftermath of 9/11, this region has been designated by the United States to be the ‘second front’ in the war on terrorism. Yet despite the emergence of this ‘new’ global terrorism, the authors argue that armed rebellion in Southeast Asia is a phenomenon that predates Al Qaeda and the global Jihadist movement and that much can be learned from the motivations behind it.

Chapter 16: State Terrorism in Arakan

Syed Serajul Islam

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, development studies, asian development, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, politics and public policy, terrorism and security


Syed Serajul Islam The prevalent general understanding about terrorism is that acts of terrorism are committed by nongovernmental actors like crazy individuals. But, today it is apparent from the activities of many governments that a state itself could be a terrorist. In fact, state terrorism is not a new phenomenon. In the past, it existed in various forms and ideologies. It is only in recent years that those past regimes as well as many contemporary governments have been analyzed under the cover of ‘state terrorism’. State terrorist regimes use the tactics of intimidation, coerced conversion and selective or auto-genocide. Contemporary Myanmar (Burma) is one of the greatest examples of this. The military regime has brought the reign of terror in the whole of Burma by adopting the ideology of ‘Burma’s Road to Socialism’.1 Within the limited scope of this chapter it focuses only on the analysis of Burma’s state terrorism in one of its provinces, Rakhine State, where the minority Muslims, generally known as Rohingyas, continues to suffer from several forms of persecution. The propagated media view right now is that we are living in a very dangerous time and the danger is primarily coming from the terror threat from bin Laden and his network. There is no doubt about terrorism initiated by crazy individuals. However, one needs to understand that while Bin Laden’s network, al-Qaeda, is a ‘retail’ terror network, large-scale killing and torture to terrorize, ‘wholesale’ terrorism, has been implemented by states, not by non-state actors. The...

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