Rohingya Refugee Healthcare in Thailand

Photo Credit: EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid

By Joyce Hu
Staff Writer

The 1951 Refugee Convention states, “refugees should enjoy access to health services equivalent to that of the host population, while everyone has the right under international law to the highest standards of physical and mental health,” and the Rohingya refugees of Myanmar are no exception. The Rohingya is a Muslim minority group that has been described as “one of, if not the, most discriminated people in the world,” by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Because of extensive religious persecution from the Burmese military junta, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled the country. In 2017, roughly 700,000 Rohingya began their exodus out of Myanmar after a militant group—the Arkan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA)—launched violent attacks in the Rakhine region along the western coast. Despite strong international calls for the democratic government to protect the Rohingyan people from this genocide, the Rohingya people continue to suffer from human rights abuses, discriminatory policies, and hostility. In February of 2021, after the National League for Democracy was reelected, a military coup backing the opposition party returned Myanmar to military rule. Amidst civil protests and demonstrations, Rohingya and other civilians were forced to flee from persecution again. It is estimated that there are now around 1.2 million displaced Myanmar people around the world. 

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Bongbong Marcos, Son of Former Dictator, Elected in Philippine Presidential Election

Photo Credit: Bongbong Marcos

By Manuel Aguilera-Prieto
Staff Writer

The Phillipine presidential elections were held on May 10, and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, the son of former President Marcos Sr., is poised to secure a victory against his opponent, incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo. At the time of publication, Marcos has more than double the votes than his closest opponent. There have been reports of malfunctioning voting machines, though the elections commitee has dismissed these cases and will not consider a recount. 

This election marks the end of a remarkable and controversial Duterte administration, which oversaw a fierce anti-drug campaign. However, it seems likely that Marcos’ presidency will parallel that of his predecessor’s, based on their shared strongman legacies. Moreover, polls indicate that Sara Duterte, daughter of the current president, will assume the office of the vice presidency.

Marcos Jr.’s ascendence to the presidency follows a familiar and historical trend. Despite being the first constitutional republic in Asia, democracy has long been secondary to other interests, such as combating corruption, widespread violence, and more recently, a war on drugs. Filipinos have continually sought to tackle these problems by electing strong, authoritative, and often oppressive leaders. Marcos Sr., president from 1965-85, oversaw an autocratic government which imposed martial law for most of his tenure. Years later, President Joseph Estrada embarked on a belligerent campaign against Muslim rebels in the Mindanao region, not unlike Duterte’s war on drugs. The election of Marcos Jr. continues this historical narrative, and should come as no surprise.

Despite efforts to rehabilitate the Marcos family name, Bongbong’s image will continue to be distorted by his parents’ polarizing legacy. He has asked citizens to judge him not by his ancestors, but by his actions.

Exploring the Roots of India’s Farmer Protests

Photo Credit: Cambridge Globalist and licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

By Harshita Chitti Rao Devavarapu
Contributing Writer 

Known for its size and diversity, India is one of the largest countries in South Asia and the largest democracy in the world. Despite having a multitude of cultures, languages and lifestyles, one commonality that unites the multiple strands of Indian identity is the economic enterprise of agriculture. Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for the Indian population and the harvest is celebrated through various festivals by all religions and cultures. Producing legumes, jute, spices, rice, sugarcane and many more crops, 70% of rural households are dependent on agriculture while 82% of farmers are small scale marginal farmers.

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