Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Medical | By Rita Mcdonald

Myanmar operation against Rohingyas textbook ethnic cleansing, says United Nations rights chief

Myanmar operation against Rohingyas textbook ethnic cleansing, says United Nations rights chief

There was no immediate response from Myanmar's military, but on Saturday authorities said they would set up three relief camps in Rohingya-majority areas.

He said the Bangladesh government had also asked the UN, German and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to take the initiative to create the safe zone as had been done in other conflict-stricken countries.

Almost 300,000 self-identified Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh and 30,000 non-Muslim civilians have been displaced inside Myanmar after the military launched a counter-offensive following attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) insurgents on 30 police posts and an army base on August 25.

A further 27,000 ethnic Rakhine Buddhists as well as Hindus have also fled violence that has gripped northern Rakhine, where global aid programmes have been severely curtailed.

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"Aung San Suu Kyi does not belong in the same company as Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, and Malala Yousafzai".

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has said those people who are harassing Muslims, they should remember the teachings of Buddha.

He also criticised "official statements that refugees who have fled the violence will only be allowed back if they can provide "proof of nationality", pointing out that Myanmar since 1962 had been stripping Rohingyas of a wide range of rights, including citizenship rights.

A Rohingya man carries his old mother as they enter Shahporir Deep in Teknaf, Bangladesh, 10 September 2017.

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He has already warned Suu Kyi that the treatment of the ethnic minority group is "besmirching" the country's reputation. This includes the General Administration Department, which is responsible for the administration of the entire country.

"Many new arrivals are still on the move and residing on the roadsides, and are left out of the calculations due to the lack of comprehensive tracking mechanism", said a United Nations coordination report Monday.

The United Nations and the Bangladesh government have said the number arriving has slowed down in recent days although the situation is still volatile.

Safura Khatun, 60, was among the hundreds who crossed into Bangladesh on Monday. "I think such circumstances Buddha would definitely help those poor Muslims".

Bangladesh already hosts around 400,000 Rohingya from previous crises.

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The diplomats praised Bangladesh for hosting Rohingyas for decades and giving the shelters to new arrivals, according to the foreign ministry statement.

The Bangladesh government plans to build a huge new camp that will house a quarter of a million refugees.

Myanmar's military has been accused of planting land mines in the path of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in its western Rakhine state, with Amnesty International reporting two people wounded Sunday. It said at least three people including two children were injured in the past week. One of the victims was a young boy.

Myanmar government spokesman Zaw Htay tweeted late on Sunday that the government has "no policy to negotiate with terrorists", rejecting a 30-day unilateral ceasefire by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) amid a massive escalation in violence that has forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya civilians to flee to the border with neighboring Bangladesh.

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If state sovereignty and security are perceived to be threatened by "what they call the Rohingya insurgency", then Modi is complicit in "Suu Kyi's approach not to call out on the military's abuses of power in the Rakhine state", he said.

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