Edited by Andrew T.H. Tan
Chapter 16: State Terrorism in Arakan
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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