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Economic development and “trust-building” were two key topics of a DVB Debate held earlier this year in Thandwe, Rakhine State, where panelists discussed the fraught inter-communal dynamics still bedeviling the state. Farther to the north, more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to neighbouring Bangladesh last year in the wake of a Burma Army counter-insurgency campaign targeting Rohingya militants who staged deadly attacks on security posts in August.
The mass exodus has garnered headlines globally and prompted widespread condemnation from the international community, but the problems besetting Rakhine State are hardly new. In excerpts from this DVB Debate, which originally aired on March 31, we take a close look at what might be fuelling conflict in the troubled region, and explore possible ways to lay the groundwork for a better future for all of the affected communities.