As the darkness of military rule recedes, deep and violent fissures have opened between Myanmar's religious communities.
Until recently Myanmar's move to democratic government, overthrowing decades of oppressive military rule, had been universally lauded. Its civilian leaders like Aung San Suu Kyi were feted and the bravery of the majority Buddhist population, beholden to ideals of non-violence and tolerance, was lionised. But then, in June 2012, violence between Buddhists and Muslims erupted in western Myanmar, pointing to a growing divide between religious communities that before had received little attention from the outside world. Attacks on Muslims soon spread across the country, leaving hundreds dead, entire neighbourhoods turned to rubble, and tens of thousands of Muslims confined to internment camps or feeling for their lives across borders. For years an investigative journalist active in the region, Francis Wade witnessed first-hand how an anxious ruling elite laid the foundations for a violence so sickening that the world is still coming to terms with it. In this new and updated edition of the book that `predicted the fate of Myanmar's hated Muslim minority', Wade explores the background to these events that shocked the world, and examines their legacy - both within Myanmar and the wider international community. This thoroughly revised and updated addition addresses the latest developments in Myanmar, and looks ahead to consider the future of the Rohingya and Myanmar as a whole
Table of contents:
Prologue 1. The First Wave: The Murder, the Smoke and the Ruins 2. Sons of Whose Soil? Britain and the Birth of a Fractured Nation 3. The Art of Belonging: A Peculiar Transaction in Yangon 4. Us and Them: Making Identities, Manipulating Divides 5. Ruling the Unruly: Social Engineering and the Village of Prisoners 6. 2012: Season of Violence 7. At First Light the Darkness Fell: Myanmar's Democratic Experiment Falters 8. `We Came Down from the Sky': The Buddhist Preachers of Hate 9. Apartheid State: Camps, Ghettos, and the New Architecture of Control 10. U Maung Soe: An Outcast in Disguise 11. In the Old Cinema Hut: Fear, Hope and the Heroes We Forget
Francis Wade is a journalist specialising in Myanmar and Southeast Asia. He began reporting on Myanmar in 2009 with the exiled Democratic Voice of Burma news organisation, based in Northern Thailand, before going on to cover in-depth the transition from military rule and the violence that accompanied it. He has reported from across South and Southeast Asia for The Guardian, TIME, Foreign Policy Magazine, and others. He is now based in London.