How the wider world enables Myanmar's ethnic cleansing

Elias Hubbard
September 13, 2017

However, Myanmar's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has dismissed the Rohingya crisis as a misinformation campaign, rejecting the occurrence of any clampdown on the minority. "And how does South-East Asia suddenly confront a desperate diaspora problem akin to the Palestinian issue that has perpetuated violent conflict in the Middle East for 70 years", said Mr Vatikiotis, author of Blood and Silk, a just-released book that chronicles the region's conflicts.

"This complete denial of reality is doing great damage to the worldwide standing of a government which, until recently, benefited from huge good will", he said, calling on authorities to allow his office access to investigate the situation in the country.

People attend a protest rally against what they say are killings of Rohingya people in Myanmar, in Kolkata, India September 11, 2017.

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Burma's government has denied access to a United Nations mission seeking to investigate human rights abuses and has repeatedly accused global NGOs of aiding ARSA which it brands "extremist terrorists".

Hasina and the other lawmakers made several specific proposals for Myanmar and the worldwide community, including the creation of a "safe zone" in Myanmar for the Rohingyas under United Nations supervision, and the implementation of the Kofi Annan Commission's recommendations on Rakhine state for a permanent solution to the crisis. We've held bilateral discussions with Myanmar on [the] Rohingya issue.

Last month, Rohingya militants attacked several security posts, killing a dozen police.

The State Department is working with global partners, including the Office of the United Nations' refugee agency, the worldwide Committee of the Red Cross and the worldwide Organization for Migration, to provide emergency assistance for the displaced, the statement said.

Bangladesh high commissioner Syed Muazzem Ali
Bangladesh high commissioner Syed Muazzem Ali

Mr Zeid said he was "appalled" by reports that the Myanmar authorities have now begun to lay landmines along the border with Bangladesh, and that refugees who have fled the violence will only be allowed back if they can provide "proof of nationality".

Since then Buddhist hardliners have led sporadic attacks on mosques and other Islamic sites across the country. They are an ethnic group, majority of whom are Muslim, who have lived for centuries in the majority Buddhist Myanmar. Reportedly 400 people have been killed and around 123,000 people have fled to Bangladesh. They are not considered one of the country's 135 official ethnic groups and have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless and have been facing discrimination from the Myanmar government.

"Do the people who came out on streets even know where Myanmar is or what is happening in that country?" Thousands of Rohingyas have sought to flee the fighting to Bangladesh, with almost 30,000 crossing over.

"We are seeing the mushrooming of these very flimsy shelters that will not be able to house people for too long", she said.

According to official records, Hyderabad is home to about 3,600 Rohingyas, taking shelter under a UNHCR program.

Bangladesh's unwillingness to host more refugees became apparent in the government's plan to relocate Rohingyas to a remote island that is mostly flooded during the monsoon season.

Amnesty said that based on interviews with eyewitnesses and analysis by its own weapons experts, it believes there is "targeted use of landlines" along a narrow stretch of the northwestern border of Rakhine state that is a crossing point for fleeing Rohingya.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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