Arakan, the present-day Rakhine State,1 represents the post-colonial failures of Myanmar in microcosm: ethnic conflict,2 political impasse, militarisation, economic neglect and the marginalisation of local peoples. During the past decade, many of these challenges have gathered a new intensity, accentuating a Buddhist-Muslim divide and resulting in one of the greatest refugee crises in the modern world. A land of undoubted human and natural resource potential, Arakan has become one of the poorest territories in the country today.

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