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So far, despite global coverage of Southeast Asia’s desperate migrants, Myanmar leaders continue to try to cast doubt on the idea that there is a migration crisis at all, though Myanmar officials attended the regional conference on the migration crisis held in Thailand in late May. Still, Myanmar officials reportedly refused to attend the meeting unless it was pitched as a broad discussion about migration, rather than a meeting to address the crisis of fleeing Rohingya. At the meeting, Myanmar “categorically refused to discuss its role as a cause for the crisis,” notes Matthew Davies of Australian National University, an expert on human rights in Southeast Asia.
Yet a lasting, regional solution that stops Rohingya from fleeing Myanmar en masse, and that forces Naypyidaw to stop discriminating against Rohingya, is not impossible, although many Southeast Asian leaders appear to think the crisis unsolvable. For more on my recommendations for addressing the migration crisis, you can read my latest article for The National.