European Union demands Myanmar halt violence on Rohingya

Violet Powell
September 15, 2017

UNITED Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today reiterated his call for Muslims from Myanmar's Rakhine state to be granted nationality or at least a legal status that would allow them to lead a normal life, while also urging the global community to help provide assistance for the almost 380,000 people who have fled into Bangladesh.

Dozens of activists of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) staged a demonstration in Bhatkal on Wednesday to condemn the alleged violence and discrimination against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and the Silence of Nobel peace prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi, who is widely recognized as the de facto ruler of Myanmar. And Aung San Suu Kyi, however angry we may be at her right now, does not have the constitutional authority over the military that a civilian leader should have.

But even as the United Nations has called the army crackdown on the Rohingya "ethnic cleansing", western diplomats - from countries competing with China for influence in the Southeast Asian nation - say abandoning Suu Kyi or reimposing sanctions could risk Myanmar's democratic transition.

In a statement, the 15-member council "expressed concern about reports of excessive violence during the security operations and called for immediate steps to end the violence in Rakhine, de-escalate the situation, re-establish law and order, [and] ensure the protection of civilians".

The government of Buddhist-majority Myanmar rejects such accusations, saying it is targeting "terrorists".

'Stigmatizing Aung San Suu Kyi and attacking her through media is not a long term solution, ' he said.

More than 370,000 Rohingya - many of them women and children - have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence since August 25, according to the United Nations, an average of nearly 20,000 a day. But they say what they left behind was worse. Recently, a Rohingya militant group coordinated a series of attacks on police and military in Myanmar.

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According to Bangladesh, around 3,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by the military and Buddhist mobs.

As more Rohingya flee to Bangladesh, what will it take to stop this violence?

"How many Rohingya have to die; how many Rohingya women will be raped; how many communities will be razed before you raise your voice in defense of those who have no voice?"

"Unless a political solution is found there is a possibility that the entire Rohingya community may come to Bangladesh", he told AFP later. "India stands ready to provide any assistance required by the government of Bangladesh in this hour of need", the MEA said in the press release.

The administration has also thanked the government of neighboring Bangladesh for hosting the refugees.

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had said, "No human rights organisation or no other country can accuse India of intolerance or dealing with Rohingyas in an inhuman manner".

Earlier on Monday, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein had denounced the situation in Myanmar and described it as "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

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