Myanmar is an Indochina country formerly known as Burma. It has experienced a very long civil war turmoil. Since its independence in 1948, Burma has often faced ethnic conflict that has been criticized by other nations. Aung San Suu Kyi, a statesman who won the Nobel peace prize in 1991, was not considered serious in dealing with the prolonged conflict in his country.
In response to the Rohingya conflict that is currently the world’s attention, and Indonesia, SEA Talks # 17 this time invited Dr. Budiawan, a lecturer in Study Program of Culture and Media of UGM Graduate School as a speaker. The topic presented was “The Rohingya Crisis and the Nationalist-Religious Problems” beginning with the historical tracking of Rohingyas to the assumptions that drive genocide crimes against Rohingyas and other ethnic minorities in Myanmar. This discussion was opened with the exposure of opinion from several Indonesian figures and institutions who asserted that the Rohingya crisis is not only a religious conflict but multidimensional. To quote Dr. Budiawan, “Rohingya crisis is not a religious conflict in the sense of being a conflict let alone solely because of religious differences, but the Rohingya crisis can not be separated from the issue of religious and ethnic differences between ethnic Burmese (Buddhist) and ethnic Rohingya (Muslim).