Rohingya Muslims “persecuted” after Myanmar crackdown says report

Rohingya people living in Thailand hold posters and signs as they protest in front of Myanmar’s embassy in Bangkok, during Myanmar’s President Thein Sein visit to Thailand in this July 23, 2012 photo. — Reuters pic

Source: Rohingya Muslims “persecuted” after Myanmar crackdown says report

BANGKOK, Aug 1 — Myanmar security forces killed, raped or carried out mass arrests of Rohingya Muslims after deadly sectarian riots in the northeast in June, a rights group said today, adding the authorities had done little to prevent the initial unrest.

Aid workers were blocked and in some cases arrested, and Rohingyas bore the brunt of a government crackdown in Rakhine state after a week of arson and machete attack by both ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingyas, New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report.

Based on 57 interviews with Rakhines and Rohingyas, the report seeks to shed light on a conflict that exposed deep-rooted communal animosity and put the spotlight on promises by the civilian government in office since 2011 to protect human rights after decades of brutal army rule.

“Burmese security forces failed to protect the Arakan (Rakhine) and Rohingya from each other and then unleashed a campaign of violence and mass round-ups against the Rohingya,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“The government claims it is committed to ending ethnic strife and abuse, but recent events in Arakan State demonstrate that state-sponsored persecution and discrimination persist.”

Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin said on Monday the authorities had exercised “maximum restraint” in restoring law and order and that the rioting was not fuelled by religious persecution.

He rejected what he said were attempts to “politicise and internationalise the situation as a religious issue”, adding that the government was eager to promote “racial harmony among different nationalities”.

In veiled criticism of the United States and European Union, which praised the government for its handling of the unrest, Adams said the international community had been “blinded by a romantic narrative of sweeping change” in Myanmar.

The former Burma has a diverse ethnic and religious make-up, but the government does not include the Rohingya Muslims. There are at least 800,000 Rohingyas in the country but they are not recognised as one of its ethnic groups.

Neighbouring Bangladesh does not accept them and pushed boatloads back out to sea when they tried to flee the unrest.

“Resettle them”

Myanmar President Thein Sein said in June the government was only responsible for third-generation Rohingyas whose families had arrived before independence in 1948 and that it was impossible to accept those who had “illegally entered” Myanmar.

He recommended that the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR take care of them in camps or resettle them in third countries. UNHCR chief Antonio Guterres replied it could only resettle refugees that fled from one country to another.

The riots followed two brutal incidents in Rakhine state: the May 28 rape and murder of a Rakhine woman by three Rohingya males, who were sentenced to death, and the June 3 lynching in response of 10 non-Rohingya Muslims travelling on a bus.

Human Rights Watch said police and troops did not intervene to stop the mobs from beating the Muslims to death. During the riots that followed, it said some Rohingyas who tried to flee or put out fires at their homes were shot at by paramilitaries.

It called for the government to end abuses, grant full humanitarian access and invite in international monitors. Access to the area remains restricted.

Thein Sein is in a tight spot. Concessions towards the Rohingyas could prove unpopular among the general public, but perceived ill-treatment risks angering Western countries that have eased sanctions in response to human rights reforms.

Minister of Border Affairs Thein Htay says 858 people have been detained for involvement in the violence, including five UNHCR staff and a UN World Food Programme employee. It was unclear how many of the total were Rohingya or ethnic Rakhine.

The Foreign Ministry has said 77 people died and 109 were injured during the violence, and nearly 5,000 homes burnt down. — Reuters

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One Response to “Rohingya Muslims “persecuted” after Myanmar crackdown says report”

  1. drkokogyi Says:

    ရခုိင္ျပည္နယ္ရွိ မြတ္စလင္မ္မ်ား ဆက္လက္ဖိႏိွပ္ခံေနရ

    ရခိုင္ဗုဒၵဘာသာ-႐ိုဟင္ဂ်ာပဋိပကၡအၿပီးေနာက္တြင္လည္း ရခုိင္ျပည္နယ္အတြင္းရွိ မြတ္စလင္မ္မ်ားထံသို႔ ရိကၡာ ပို႔ေဆာင္ျခင္း၊ ေထာက္ပံ့ျခင္းတုိ႔ကို ေတာင္ကုတ္ၿမိဳ႕ခံမ်ားႏွင့္ လူမ်ိဳးေရးအစြန္းေရာက္ ရခုိင္အလႊာစံုက ျပဳလုပ္ ေနေၾကာင္း သတင္းရရွိသည္။
    “ကုန္စည္စီးဆင္းမႈက လံုး၀မရွိေတာ့ဘူး။ မြတ္စလင္မ္ပိုင္ပစၥည္းေတြကို ေက်ာက္နီေမာ္ဆိပ္ကမ္းေရာက္မွ ျပန္သယ္သြားတယ္။ ေတာင္ကုတ္မွာ အခုအထိ စုပံုထားတယ္”ဟု ေက်ာက္နီေမာ္တြင္ ရိကၡာျပတ္လပ္မႈ စတင္ခံစားေနရသျဖင့္ ဒုကၡေရာက္ေနသူတစ္ဦးက myanmarmuslim.net သို႔ ေျပာၾကားသည္။

    ရန္ကုန္၊ ျပည္၊ မႏၲေလးတို႔ ေက်ာက္နီေမာ္သို႔ ယခင္က လြတ္လပ္စြာ ကုန္စည္တင္ပို႔ခြင့္ရခဲ့ေသာ္လည္း ယခုအခါ ေတာင္ကုတ္ၿမိဳ႕ခံမ်ားက ၾကားျဖတ္၍ မြတ္စလင္မ္တို႔ထံသို႔ ပို႔ေဆာင္မည့္ကုန္စည္မ်ားကို တားဆီးဟန္႔တားျခင္းျဖစ္သည္။ အထက္ပါ လူမဆန္သည့္လုပ္ရပ္မ်ားကို
    လုပ္ေဆာင္ေနသူမ်ားမွာ ေတာင္ကုတ္ၿမိဳ႕လယ္လမ္းမတြင္ မြတ္စလင္မ္ ၁၀ ဦးကို ၃ နာရီေက်ာ္ၾကာ သတ္ပြဲက်င္းပရာတြင္ လႈံ႔ေဆာ္သူမ်ားအျဖစ္ နာမည္ႀကီးခဲ့သည့္ ၀ံသာႏုရကၡိတ ဂုိဏ္း၀င္မ်ားျဖစ္ေၾကာင္းလည္း သိရသည္။

    “ဒီေန႔သူတို႔ အနီေရာင္အလံေတြ ေထာင္ထားတယ္။ မြတ္စလင္ေတြနဲ႔ ကူးလူးဆက္ဆံခဲ့တဲ့သူေတြ ဒီေန႔ ေနာက္ဆံုးပဲ။ ေနာက္ေန႔ မေရာင္းရေတာ့ဘူး လို႔ အသံေတြထြက္ေနတယ္” ဟု အထက္ပါပုဂိၢဳလ္ကပင္ ဆက္လက္ ေျပာၾကားသည္။

    ယခင္မ်ားမၾကာမီ ရက္ပိုင္းတြင္လည္း ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္အတြင္းရွိ ဒုကၡသည္တို႔အား ေထာက္ပံ့ေနသည့္ အဖြဲ႕မ်ားအား ရန္လိုတိုက္ခိုက္ျခင္း၊ ရိကၡာမ်ား ပို႔ေဆာင္မရေအာင္ အေႏွာင့္အယွက္ေပးျခင္း၊ ရိကၡာ ပို႔ေဆာင္သည့္ လမ္းတြင္ ကားမ်ားသြားမရေစရန္ ေက်ာက္တံုး၊ ေက်ာက္ခဲႀကီးမ်ားထားျခင္း စသည္တို႔ကို
    ျပည္တြင္းရွိ ရခိုင္လူမ်ဳိးေရးအစြန္းေရာက္ အလႊာစံုက ျပဳလုပ္ခဲ့သည္။

    “ဘုန္းႀကီးအခ်ဳိ႕ဟာ မြတ္စလင္ဒုကၡသည္ စခန္းေတြအနားမွာ ေစာင့္ေနၿပီးေတာ့ (မြတ္စလင္ေတြကို) အကူအညီ ေပးဖို႔လာတဲ့သူလို႔ ထင္ရင္ ေမာင္းထုတ္ေနတယ္လို႔ စစ္ေတြမွာ ရွိတဲ့ လူသားခ်င္းစာနာမႈ အဖြဲ႕အစည္းတစ္ရပ္က ပုဂၢိဳလ္တစ္ဦးက ေျပာတယ္”ဟု အာရကန္ပေရာဂ်က္၏ ဒါ႐ိုက္တာ ခရစ္လီ၀ါ၏ ေျပာၾကားခ်က္ကို The Independent သတင္းဌာနတြင္ ေဖာ္ျပထားသည္။

    စစ္ေတြႏွင့္ ေမာင္ေတာၿမိဳ႕မ်ားသို႔ “လူ႕အခြင့္အေရးခ်ဳိးေဖာက္မႈမ်ားကို စစ္ေဆးရန္ ကိစၥျဖင့္ သြားေရာက္ေန သည့္ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံဆိုင္ရာ ကုလသမဂၢ လူ႕အခြင့္အေရးေခါင္းေဆာင္ ေသာမတ္အိုေဟး ကင္တားနားသည္ ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္တြင္ လူ႕အခြင့္အေရး ခ်ဳိးေဖာက္ခံေနရသည့္ မြတ္စလင္မ်ားႏွင့္ ေတြ႕ဆံုခဲ့ေၾကာင္း ျမန္မာ့ မီဒီယာအခ်ဳိ႕တြင္ ေဖာ္ျပထားသည္။ လူ႕အခြင့္အေရး ခ်ဳိးေဖာက္မႈမ်ားကို စစ္ေဆးရန္ ဟူေသာ ေခါင္းစဥ္ႏွင့္ အညီ ရခိုင္ဗုဒၶဘာသာ၀င္မ်ားျဖင့္မူ ေတြ႕ဆံုခဲ့ျခင္းမရွိေၾကာင္းလည္း သတင္းေဖာ္ျပခ်က္မ်ား အရသိရသည္။
    ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံတြင္ ဘာသာေရးဖိႏိုပ္မူမ်ား ဆက္လက္ျဖစ္ေပၚေနေသးေၾကာင္း အေမရိကန္အစိုးရ ကထုတ္ျပန္သည္႔ ႏိုင္ငံတကာ ဘာသာေရးဆိုင္ရာ အစီရင္ခံစာတြင္ေဖၚျပထားေၾကာင္း RFA သတင္းတစ္ရပ္တြင္ေဖၚျပထားသည္။ http://myanmarmuslim.net/news.php?extend.767

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