Acehnese Youth & Understanding the Crisis in Muslim Minority Myanmar


Kyaw Hlaing (Yangon-Myanmar)
Lilianne Fan (Yayasan Geutanjoe)
Chetan Kumar (UNDP Manila)
Joanne Lauterjung Kelly (JLK Consulting Yangon)
Daniel Awigra (ASEAN)
Shadia Marhaban (Mediators Beyond Borders International)

Moderator: Musdawati
Translator: Ilham Munawar Siddiq

Many reports have described the deteriorating humanitarian situation of the Rohingya (referred to as “Indian Muslims” by the Myanmar government) in Rakhine, Myanmar. The events in Rakhine have sparked deep concerns among Acehnese youths in Indonesia and have instigated a growing desire to take a concrete action to help improve the situation. In order for them to make constructive contributions, it is crucial that they be well-informed about the nature of the crisis in Rakhine State.

Many Acehnese youth are misinformed about the Rohingya crisis due to of incomplete reporting by local and national media. This can provoke unintended consequences-including the emergence of a hateful narrative among the Acehnese youth—towards those persecuting the Rohingya in Myanmar. With extremism not yet entirely eliminated, the worst-case scenario of this narrative is the potential for impulsive young Achenese to travel to Myanmar for a “Holy War” against the Buddhists.

This conference in an effort to present more inclusive information about the Rohingya crisis, in order to help Acehnese youth develop a critical perspective and to make a truly constructive contribution. To accommodate such objectives, the discussion will be designed to address the following questions:

  1. How did the crisis start?
  2. Who are the stateless Rohingya? What are their strengths and challenges and?
  3. What steps has the Myanmar government taken? What is their stance?
  4. What has the international community done? What are the limits of their intervention. 
  5. What is the developing narrative among the majority in Myanmar regarding the issue?
  6. What are the lesser-known, yet significant, dimensions of this issue?
  7. What constructive contributions can the Acehnese youth make to assist in solving the crisis?


The aims of this conference are:

  1. To raise Acehnese youths’ understanding of the crisis against the Muslim minority in Myanmar and develop a stronger conceptual basis for their actions regarding the crisis
  2. To understand Myanmar’ s transition after decades of military regime
  3. To understand the role of regional organization (ASEAN)
  4. To understand the term “stateless” as it relates to the Rohingya and their citizenship status
  5. To place this crisis in the context of the global refugee crisis

Time and Venue

Time: Tueday, September 12, 2017, 10.00 am Western Indonesian Time (UTC+7)
Place: Aula Pasca Sarjana, 3rd Floor UIN Ar-Raniry. Banda Aceh
No RSVP necessary.

Coverage of the event by Serambi News, Indonesia