Violence against Rohingyas in Myanmar 'seems like ethnic cleansing'

Tuesday, 12 Sep, 2017

Hundreds of people showed their solidarity with Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar at a noisy protest outside the country's Ottawa embassy Sunday afternoon.

That has left tens of thousands of new arrivals with nowhere to shelter from the monsoon rains.

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

After a lengthy discussion, the House unanimously adopted a resolution urging the United Nations and the worldwide community to exert diplomatic pressures on Myanmar to take back the Rohingyas, ensure their safe accommodation, and give them the right of citizenship there.

It also acknowledges the efforts by member states which had provided humanitarian and development assistance for the Rohingya people and encourage all states to formulate development projects that would provide education, health services and vocational training that would benefit the community of the Rakhine states, regardless of ethnicity or religion.

The situation deteriorated sharply on August 25 when hundreds of militants of the grouping that calls itself the Arakan Rohingya Solidarity Army attacked 30 police stations.

In its ceasefire statement, ARSA called on the military to lay down arms and allow humanitarian aid to all affected people.

The government has recently raised "serious concern" over reports of renewed violence and attacks in Myanmar and extended its "strong" support to the Myanmarese government at this "challenging moment".

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.

On Tuesday, a United Nations official was quoted as saying in Dhaka that at least 123,000 Rohingyas have crossed the border into Bangladesh in the past few days - 30,000 of them in a 24-hour period.

"How can you handle such a big influx of people?" "Together with governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh we want to be working to prevent this human drama".

She also said the Rohingyas were historically Myanmar nationals.

"We shut down the lights in the mosque and sneaked out", the mufti, who was in the mosque at the time, told Reuters by phone. "The UN Security Council should publicly hold an emergency meeting and demand that the Burmese authorities stop the violence against the Rohingya population and allow aid to flow in, or face sanctions". But there are fears that figure is underestimated, with other Rakhine villages also the target of alleged massacres.

The government is arranging a high-profile visit of all ambassadors, high commissioners and chargés d'affaires, stationed in Bangladesh, to different temporary and permanent shelters of the Rohingya in Cox's Bazar on Wednesday, reports UNB. "I think such circumstances Buddha would definitely help those poor Muslims".

"How can we live like this here?" he added, gesturing to the swampy earth.

But Myanmar labels them "extremist Bengali terrorists" intent on carving out an Islamic enclave for the Rohingya.

The current round of troubles began when Rohingya militants under the group ARSA, attacked Myanmar security forces.

Burma denies Rohingya exist as an ethnic group and says those living in Rakhine are illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

That means over a third of the estimated 1.1 million Rohingya in Rakhine state have fled in less than a year.