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Exclusive: West edges towards punishing Myanmar army leaders over Rohingya crisis – sources

YANGON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The European Union and the United States are considering targeted sanctions against Myanmar military leaders over an offensive that has driven more than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims out of the country, officials familiar with the discussions say.

Interviews with more than a dozen diplomats and government officials based in Washington, Yangon and Europe revealed that punitive measures aimed specifically at top generals were among a range of options being discussed in response to the crisis.

Nothing has yet been decided and Washington and Brussels may decide to hold off for now, the sources said. There are also discussions about increasing aid for violence-riven Rakhine state.

The active discussion of sanctions – not even on the table a month ago – shows how the dramatic exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar’s northwest is putting pressure on Western policymakers to take action.

While much of the outcry overseas has focused on Nobel laureate and Myanmar’s national leader Aung San Suu Kyi, few Western diplomats see an alternative to her leadership. Suu Kyi does not control the military, which still wields considerable power under Myanmar’s army-written constitution.

The EU Foreign Ministers Council will discuss Myanmar on Oct. 16, although officials do not expect any move on sanctions that soon. Danish minister for development cooperation, Ulla Tornaes, told Reuters that Copenhagen had been working to get the crisis on the agenda, “with the wish to put further pressure on the military”.

Two Washington-based U.S. officials with knowledge of the Trump administration’s Myanmar deliberations said targeted sanctions against commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing and several other generals, as well as leaders of ethnic Rakhine Buddhist militias accused of torching Rohingya villages, were under consideration.

Such sanctions – if decided on – would likely entail U.S. asset freezes, bans on travel to the United States, prohibitions against Americans doing business with them and other unspecified penalties. Washington was moving cautiously as it consulted with governments in Europe, Japan and Southeast Asia, the U.S. officials said.

A senior Yangon-based European diplomat also said Western countries were coordinating their response to the crisis and were in agreement that it was the military, and specifically the commander-in-chief, who needed to be targeted in any punitive action.

Any punishment was likely to be symbolic at first to allow room for further talks, Yangon-based diplomats said, giving the example of formally banning the army chief, who over the past year visited Brussels, Berlin and Vienna, from further travel to Europe.
Western diplomats admit their leverage is limited: compared with China, whose ties with Myanmar have warmed since Suu Kyi took office 18 months ago, U.S. and European investment and military engagement with the country are small.

They are also wary of action that could hurt the wider economy or destabilize already tense ties between Suu Kyi and the army.
PRESSURE BUILDING

The United Nations is pressing for increased humanitarian access to other parts of Rakhine, where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya remain. How Myanmar responds to calls for increased aid, the investigation of alleged atrocities or repatriation of refugees would be a key consideration in deciding what action to take, U.S. and EU diplomats in Myanmar said.

“We can pile political pressure, look into financing we have in Myanmar. We have humanitarian aid, as well as development aid … the European Commission won’t invest in the development of Myanmar if the conditions, including security, are not there,” said a Brussels-based EU diplomat who follows Myanmar.
“There is also the arms trade embargo and we discuss regularly whether we should reward the reforms in Myanmar and look at gradual easing of that, or the opposite.”

EU economic sanctions on Myanmar were lifted after the army stepped back from direct rule of the country in 2012, beginning the democratic transition that brought Suu Kyi to power last year, but an arms embargo in force since the 1990s remains. The United States removed most sanctions on Myanmar last autumn. It too has kept an arms embargo in place.

One Washington-based U.S. official said that, while there was no firm deadline, Washington hoped to have a plan of action on Myanmar in place by the time President Donald Trump travels to Asia for a series of summits in the first half of November.

The administration wanted to send a strong message to Myanmar’s military, but was concerned that too drastic action could allow China to expand its growing diplomatic and economic influence in the country, the official said.

There is little support in the administration for the re-imposition of broader economic sanctions, the official added.

In another sign of pressure building on Myanmar, New York-based diplomats said the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the U.N. General Assembly was pushing for a human rights resolution on the country.

Last year the EU announced that for the first time in 15 years it would not introduce a resolution at the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which focuses on human rights, condemning Myanmar’s record – rewarding it for progress.

The European bloc could revive the resolution in the current session, taking on board the OIC draft and broadening it out beyond the Rohingya crisis, one diplomat in New York said.

Diplomats said some members of the U.N. Security Council were exploring whether the 15-member body could agree a formal statement, or even a resolution, calling for an end to the violence, full access for aid and the safe return of refugees.

However, Myanmar has said it was negotiating with China and Russia, which have veto powers in the Security Council, to protect it from any possible action. China and Russia have both expressed support for the Myanmar government.

Myanmar’s relations with the U.N. have grown increasingly testy since the discovery of World Food Programme-branded biscuits at a suspected militant camp in July prompted the government to accuse the U.N. agency of supporting the insurgents, forcing it to shut down its operations in Rakhine.

Myanmar is stalling on accepting a plan by the U.N. to upgrade the U.N. country head to the more powerful rank of Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) when its current top official, who is due to be rotated, is replaced.

Thaung Tun, Suu Kyi’s National Security Advisor, told Reuters that the U.N. “must treat us equally”.

“We’ll be fine with anybody if all member states have an ASG assigned. Not just us,” he said.

Source : https://www.reuters.com/

City of London to debate stripping Aung San Suu Kyi of freedom award

Concern over Burmese leader’s response to treatment of Myanmar’s Rohingya people prompts review by City of London council

Members of the City of London’s local authority are to discuss stripping Aung San Suu Kyi of the Honorary Freedom that was bestowed on her in controversial circumstances.

The award, which was conferred on the Burmese leader in May, was originally the subject of unhappiness among some councillors for the Square Mile as well as protests at a time when concern was already building over the treatment of Myanmar’s Rohingya people.

Following pressure from colleagues and increasing reports of atrocities in Myanmar, City of London Corporation leaders have now decided to discuss revoking the honour. Catherine McGuinness, a lawyer who chairs the body’s policy and resources committee, informed fellow councillors by email that she was “distressed at the situation in Burma and the atrocities committed by the Burmese military”.

Her response came after one member, Munsur Ali, sent an email to say that he was tabling a motion that would criticise Aung San Suu Kyi’s failure to publicly challenge the conduct of her country’s armed forces and which would instruct the committee in charge of overseeing applications for honours to examine whether her honour could be removed.

“Like many, this has been of great concern to me for a while, not only as a Londoner who is proud of the freedom and equality we celebrate and keen to share with the world, but more so as a person who is of Bengali heritage,” said Ali, who spoke out after another member, Thomas Anderson, also expressed concern.

It emerged last week that Aung San Suu Kyi is to be stripped of the Freedom of the City of Oxford, where she studied as an undergraduate, over her response to the Rohingya crisis.
Oxford city council voted unanimously to support a cross-party motion that said it was no longer appropriate to celebrate the de facto leader of Myanmar. The council is to hold a special meeting to confirm the honour’s removal on 27 November.

The council leader, Bob Price, supported the motion, calling it an unprecedented step for the local authority, according to the BBC.

In recent months, Aung San Suu Kyi has drawn increasing criticism for her apparent defence of Myanmar’s treatment of its Rohingya minority, described by the UN as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

Oxford council bestowed the freedom of the city on her in 1997, when she was being held as a political prisoner by Myanmar’s military junta.

The decision to remove the award comes after the Oxford college where Aung San Suu Kyi studied recently removed her portrait from public display.

Source : https://www.theguardian.com

No sign of radicalisation in Rohingya, says Bangladesh Foreign Secretary

Describing the violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state as “ethnic cleansing”, Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque said the international community has been made aware of how the country was “snatching the rights” of the Rohingya.

Stressing that he has not seen any sign of radicalisation among Rohingya refugees, Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque Friday said that he would not comment on India’s move to deport them but hoped that “in the end… humanitarian issues will get due consideration”.

Haque’s position runs contrary to New Delhi’s stance that Rohingya refugees in India pose a national security threat amid fears of radicalisation. Haque, who met Foreign secretary S Jaishankar in the Capital on Thursday evening, was also hopeful of India’s support to Bangladesh in the wake of the refugee crisis. This was the third meeting between the two foreign secretaries in the past month-and-a-half following sessions in Colombo and New York last month after the crisis escalated.

Asked about India’s plan to deport around 40,000 Rohingya refugees, Haque, “I will not comment on India’s decision….but I hope, in the end, humanitarian issues will get due consideration.” Haque is one of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s trusted lieutenants.

On whether there has been radicalisation among Rohingya in Bangladesh, Haque said he has been to refugee camps several times in the last few weeks but “there has not been any sign of radicalisation in these people”.

Haque, however, said there was always a possibility of radicalisation since radical elements would try to take advantage of the situation but it was the government’s responsibility to not allow that to happen. “It is not an alarming situation,” he told reporters at the Bangladesh High Commission.

Haque, who also met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval Thursday, said they discussed all aspects of the issue, with the continuing influx of Rohingya refugees from Mynamar figuring “prominently”.

Describing the violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state as “ethnic cleansing”, Haque said the international community has been made aware of how the country was “snatching the rights” of the Rohingya.

“It is not only a people’s movement but also a security issue, a border issue, which has the potential to destabilise the region, not just areas in Myanmar and Bangladesh,” he said.

On India’s position that Rohingya pose a security threat, Haque said, “Not that it always becomes (a security threat), depends on how you manage it. So far the government of Bangladesh has been able to contain that. It has not moved into a security area… The population continues to remain neutral. They all look forward to
go back. It is the responsibility of the State not to allow it (radicalisation) to happen.”
The Bangladesh Foreign Secretary said there is a tendency to view such issues from the prism of radicalisation, but that obfuscates the fact that it is above all a humanitarian issue, involving women and children who “need support”.

“India has been with Bangladesh during difficult times like in 1971 or subsequently. They are our closest partner. We agreed this is a huge burden on Bangladesh and it has potential to destabilise the region. I think we were speaking in the same language,” he said.

On reports of mass graves of Hindus found in the violence-hit region, Haque said, “This is part of ethnic cleansing. Once there is ethnic cleansing I do not think people who commit ethnic cleansing make separation between Muslims and Hindus. They want to clear the whole area to set up a export processing zone I am told. It is
the government’s responsibility to protect all its citizens.”

Source : http://indianexpress.com

US Lawmakers Urge Action on Myanmar

U.S. lawmakers are calling for “full access” by journalists and aid workers to Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state.

“It is very important that we get reporters on the ground, that we get USAID on the ground,” Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee said Thursday. “Because as long as that presence is there, it’s a check to these kinds of atrocities,” he said, referring to the plight of Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority.

Royce added that the Trump administration has promised $32 million in assistance – $28 million of which will go to Bangladesh, where roughly half a million Rohingya have fled from across the border since late August.

Patrick Murphy, a senior U.S. official for Southeast Asia, says the U.S. has urged Myanmar’s civilian and military officials to take action to stop the violence, and representative Eliot Engel, the committee’s top-ranking Democrat, said the U.S. should consider imposing targeted sanctions on Myanmar’s military.

The lawmakers also echoed comments by the U.N. Human Rights commissioner, saying that the violence against Rohingyas which has led to their mass exodus constitutes ethnic cleansing.

“Just for the record, myself and Mr. Engel, this committee – we identity this as full-fledged ethnic cleansing,” Representative Royce said.

When asked why he doesn’t use the term ethnic cleansing, Murphy called the situation in Myanmar a “human tragedy.”

David Steinberg, a distinguished professor emeritus of Asian studies at the School of Foreign Service and who has had extensive experience in Myanmar, disagreed.

“Certainly there is a great prejudice against the people called Rohingya and they want them out of the country,” Steinberg said. “They always said, ‘Go back to Bangladesh where you belong.’ People have said that many, many times in Myanmar. So that term ethnic cleansing I don’t think is too wrong. I think that is very clear.

“When you have over a half a million people, maybe half of the Rohingya, have left Myanmar so I think … what everybody wants is a very humanitarian settlement of the problem so that the people are not as bad off as they are now. We all want that. The question is how best to get that,” he continued.

Meanwhile, the United Nations said Thursday that its response plan to the crisis had been revised to $434 million to help over one million people in Bangladesh – including over 500,000 Rohingya who have arrived since August 25, Rohingya refugees who arrived earlier, and local host communities.

After the Myanmar army began a crackdown in October last year to “flush out Rohingya militants” following a deadly attack on a police outpost, charges of rapes, killings and arson were leveled against the soldiers in the Rohingya village but outside media have been restricted in their access to the area.

As a result, the Rohingya leaders claim the true story of the crackdown has not been getting out to the world.

The Myanmar government has taken groups of reporters to the region in recent weeks and has denied charges of systematic abuses against the Rohingya. But because of the security situation, reporters say they are not able to freely move about the area and gather information.

Source : https://www.voanews.com

Chairman Royce to Convene Hearing on Violence Against Rohingya – Tomorrow at 9 a.m.

Media Contact 202-225-5021

Washington, D.C. – Tomorrow at 9 a.m., House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) will convene a hearing to discuss the U.S. response to Burma’s escalating violence against the Rohingya.  The hearing is entitled “The Rohingya Crisis: U.S. Response to the Tragedy in Burma.”

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “Burma’s violence against the Rohingya is horrific, and one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.  Hundreds have been killed, at least 420,000 Rohingyas have been driven from their homes, and at least 200 villages have been burned to the ground.  Burma can’t be allowed to continue cruelly mistreating the Rohingya and other minority groups.  And the United States should use the tools at its disposal to help stop this violence.  This hearing will give members an opportunity to press the administration on the steps they are taking to ensure civilian and military authorities are working to end the violence and aid those in desperate need.”

What:
Hearing: The Rohingya Crisis: U.S. Response to the Tragedy in Burma

When:
9 a.m. on Thursday, October 5

Where:
2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Witnesses:
Mr. W. Patrick Murphy
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Southeast Asia
Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
U.S. Department of State

The Honorable Mark C. Storella
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
U.S. Department of State

Ms. V. Kate Somvongsiri
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator
Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance
U.S. Agency for International Development

Source : https://foreignaffairs.house.gov

ရခိုင္ေဒသအျဖစ္အပ်က္မ်ား စံုစမ္းအေရးယူဖို႔ ကုလအရာရိွမ်ား ေတာင္းဆို

ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္ေျမာက္ပိုင္းမွာ အၾကမ္းဖက္မႈေတြ ခ်က္ခ်င္း ရပ္ဆုိင္းျပီး ဒီအၾကမ္းဖက္မႈေတြအတြင္း အမ်ိဳးသမီးနဲ႔ ကေလးငယ္ေတြ သတ္ျဖတ္ခံရ၊ လိင္ပိုင္းဆုိင္ရာ မတရားျပဳက်င့္ခံရတဲ့ အေျခအေနေတြကို စုံစမ္းေဖာ္ထုတ္ျပီး အျပစ္ရွိသူေတြကို အေရးယူေပးဖုိ႔ ကုလသမဂၢ CEDAW ေကာ္မတီနဲ႔ CRC ေကာ္မတီေတြက ျမန္မာအစိုးရကို တိုက္တြန္းလုိက္ပါတယ္။ ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္တြင္း အၾကမ္းဖက္မႈေတြဟာ လူသားထုအေပၚ က်ဴးလြန္တဲ့ ရာဇ၀တ္မႈအထိ ေျမာက္ႏိုင္တယ္လို႔လည္း ဆိုျပီးေတာ့ CEDAW နဲ႔ CRC ေကာ္မတီေတြအေနနဲ႔ အထူး စိိုးရိမ္တဲ့အေၾကာင္း ေျပာပါတယ္။ မခင္ျဖဴေထြးက အျပည့္စံု ေျပာျပေပးပါမယ္။

ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္တြင္း ႐ိုဟင္ဂ်ာမူစလင္ေတြ ၾကံဳေနရတဲ့ အၾကမ္းဖက္မႈေတြဟာ လူသားထုအေပၚ က်ဴးလြန္တဲ့ ရာဇ၀တ္မႈအထိ ေျမာက္ႏိုင္တယ္လို႔ ဆိုျပီးေတာ့ အၾကမ္းဖက္မႈေတြ ခ်က္ခ်င္းရပ္တန္႔ဖို႔နဲ႔ ျပစ္မႈ က်ဴးလြန္သူေတြကို စံုစမ္းေဖာ္ထုတ္ အေရးယူေပးဖို႔ အမ်ိဳးသမီးမ်ားအေပၚ ခြဲျခားဆက္ဆံမႈ အဆံုးသတ္ေရး ကုလသမဂၢ CEDAW ေကာ္မတီ နဲ႔ ကေလးငယ္ အခြင့္အေရးဆုိင္ရာ ေကာ္မတီ CRC တို႔က ျမန္မာအစိုးရကို တိုက္တြန္းလိုက္တာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္ေျမာက္ပိုင္းမွာ ျဖစ္ပြားခဲ့တဲ့ အၾကမ္းဖက္ ပဋိပကၡေတြအတြင္း ႐ုိဟင္ဂ်ာ အမ်ိဳးသမီးနဲ႔ ကေလးငယ္ေတြ သတ္ျဖတ္ခံရတာ၊ လိင္ပိုင္းဆုိင္ရာ မတရားျပဳက်င့္ခံရတာ၊ အိုးအိမ္စြန္႔ခြာ ထြက္ေျပးေနၾကရတာ စတဲ့ အေျခအေနေတြနဲ႔ ပတ္သက္လုိ႔ အထူးစိုးရိမ္တဲ့အေၾကာင္း ဒီကေန႔ ပူးတြဲ ေၾကညာခ်က္ ထုတ္ျပန္ထားပါတယ္။ ဒီလိုေျပာဆိုမႈေတြနဲ႔ ပတ္သက္လုိ႔ အခ်က္အလက္ ခိုင္မာမႈ ဘယ္ေလာက္ရွိသလဲ ဆိုတဲ့ အေမးကိုေတာ့ CEDAW ေကာ္မတီ ဥကၠ႒ Dalia Leinarte က ဗြီအိုေအကို ခုလို ေျဖပါတယ္။

“က်မတို႔ ဒီကေန႔ ေျပာေနတာက လူ ငါးသိန္းေက်ာ္ ဒုကၡသည္ေတြ အုိးအိမ္စြန္႔ခြာ ထြက္ေျပးေနရတဲ့ကိစၥပါ။ အမ်ိဳးသမီးနဲ႔ ကေလးငယ္ေတြ ထြက္ေျပးေနတဲ့ပံုေတြ၊ ေရနစ္ေနတဲ့ပံုေတြ မွတ္တမ္း႐ုပ္သံေတြကို က်မတို႔ ေန႔စဥ္ ေတြ႔ေနရတာပါ။ ဒါေတြ တကယ္တမ္း ျဖစ္ေနတာ မဟုတ္ပါဘူးလုိ႔ ေျပာခ်င္တယ္ဆိုရင္ေတာ့ က်မတုိ႔ရဲ႕ ေၾကညာခ်က္ထဲမွာ တိုက္တြန္းထားသလိုပဲ ကုလသမဂၢ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး ေကာင္စီကေန မၾကာခင္တုန္းက ဖြဲ႔စည္းေပးခဲ့တဲ့ အခ်က္အလက္ ရွာေဖြေရးအဖြဲ႔ကို ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံထဲ ၀င္ေရာက္ခြင့္ျပဳျပီး ေလ့လာခြင့္ေပးဖို႔ လိုပါတယ္။ ဒီအခ်က္အလက္ရွာေဖြေရးအဖြဲ႔ သြားေရာက္ ေလ့လာျပီး ထြက္လာတဲ့ရလဒ္အေပၚမွာမွ အေကာင္း အဆိုး ေသခ်ာ ေျပာႏိုင္လိမ့္မယ္လို႔ ထင္ပါတယ္။”

ျမန္မာအစိုးရကေတာ့ ကုလသမဂၢ လူအခြင့္အေရးေကာင္စီက ဖြဲ႔စည္းထားတဲ့ အခ်က္အလက္ ရွာေဖြေရးအဖြဲ႔ဟာ ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္တြင္း ပဋိပကၡကို ေျဖရွင္းရာမွာ အေထာက္အကူ မျဖစ္တဲ့အျပင္ ပဋိပကၡကို ပိုျပီး ဆိုးရြားေစႏိုင္တယ္လို႔ ဆိုျပီးေတာ့ ဒီအဖြဲ႔ကို လက္မခံပါဘူး။ ဒီလို လက္မခံတဲ့အေပၚမွာ ႏိုင္ငံတကာ က လည္း ေ၀ဖန္ေနတာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။

ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္တြင္း အၾကမ္းဖက္မႈေတြေၾကာင့္ အိုးအိမ္စြန္႔ခြာ ထြက္ေျပးေနၾကရတဲ့ အကာအကြယ္မဲ့ ႐ိုဟင္ဂ်ာ အမ်ိဳးသမီးနဲ႔ ကေလးငယ္ေတြရဲ႕ လိုအပ္ခ်က္ေတြကို ျမန္မာအစိုးရက ေျဖရွင္းကိုင္တြယ္ေပးရလိမ့္မယ္လို႔ CEDAW နဲ႔ CRC ေကာ္မတီေတြကလည္း ေျပာေနတာပါ။ ဒီေကာ္မတီေတြရဲ႕ အဖြဲ႔၀င္ႏိုင္ငံတခုျဖစ္တဲ့ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံအေနနဲ႔ အမ်ိဳးသမီးနဲ႔ ကေလးငယ္ေတြအေပၚ အၾကမ္းဖက္မႈေတြ မရွိေအာင္ ကာကြယ္ေပးရမယ့္ တာ၀န္ရွိတယ္လုိ႔ CEDAW ေကာ္မတီ ဥကၠ႒ Dalia Leinarte က ေျပာပါတယ္။“CEDAW ေကာ္မတီအေနနဲ႔ ဇူလိုင္လထဲမွာ အမ်ိဳးသမီးေတြအေပၚ အၾကမ္းဖက္မႈေတြနဲ႔ ပတ္သက္ျပီး ေယဘုယ် အၾကံျပဳခ်က္ အမွတ္ (၃၅) ထုတ္ျပန္ထားတာ ရွိပါတယ္။ ဒီအထဲ အေရးၾကီးတဲ့အခ်က္ေတြထဲမွာေတာ့ CEDAW အဖြဲ႔၀င္ႏိုင္ငံ အစိုးရေတြ အေနနဲ႔ အခု ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံမွာ ျဖစ္ပ်က္ေနတဲ့ အေျခအေနမ်ိဳးေတြမွာဆိုရင္… အၾကမ္းဖက္မႈေတြ မျဖစ္ေအာင္ ကာကြယ္တာ၊ စံုစမ္းစစ္ေဆးမႈေတြ လုပ္ျပီး အျပစ္ရွိသူေတြကို အေရးယူတာမ်ိဳး ေဆာင္ရြက္ရမွာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဒါေၾကာင့္ ျမန္မာအစိုးရအေနနဲ႔ CEDAW ေကာ္မတီမွာ ျပီးခဲ့တဲ့ႏွစ္က ခ်မွတ္ခဲ့တဲ့ ဆံုးျဖတ္ခ်က္ေတြနဲ႔အညီ လိုက္ပါ ေဆာင္ရြက္ဖို႔၊ ျပီးေတာ့.. CEDAW ေကာ္မတီရဲ႕ ေယဘုယ် အၾကံျပဳခ်က္ အမွတ္ (၃၅) နဲ႔အညီ လိုက္ပါေဆာင္ရြက္ဖို႔ တိုက္တြန္းပါတယ္။”

ျမန္မာအစိုးရအေနနဲ႔ နုိင္ငံတကာ လူသားခ်င္းစာနာမႈ အကူအညီေပးေရး အဖြဲ႔ေတြကိုို ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံထဲ အတားအဆီးမရွိ အျမန္ဆံုး ၀င္ေရာက္ခြင့္ျပဳဖို႔နဲ႔ ဒီအဖြဲ႔ေတြနဲ႔ ပူးေပါင္း ေဆာင္ရြက္ဖုိ႔ကိုလည္း CEDAW နဲ႔ CRC ေကာ္မတီေတြက ျမန္မာအစိုးရကို တိုက္တြန္းပါတယ္။

ဒီအေတာအတြင္းမွာပဲ နုိ္င္ငံတကာ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးအဖြဲ႔တခုျဖစ္တဲ့ Human Rights Watch အဖြဲ႔က ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္ ေမာင္ႏုေက်းရြာမွာ ၾသဂုတ္လ ၂၇ ရက္ေန႔က ႐ိုဟင္ဂ်ာ မူစလင္တခ်ိဳ႕ ရက္ရက္စက္စက္ သတ္ျဖတ္ခံခဲ့ရတဲ့အေၾကာင္း ဒီကေန႔ ေၾကညာခ်က္ ထုတ္ျပန္ပါတယ္။ ဒီရြာမွာ ႐ိုဟင္ဂ်ာရြာသားေတြကို ျမန္မာစစ္တပ္က ႐ိုက္ႏွက္တာ၊ ဓားနဲ႔ထိုးတာ၊ ေသနတ္နဲ႔ပစ္သတ္တာ၊ လိင္ပိုင္းဆုိင္ရာ အႏိုင္က်င့္တာ အပါအ၀င္ ရက္ရက္စက္စက္ သတ္ျဖတ္တာေတြ ရွိခဲ့တယ္လုိ႔ ဆိုျပီး နံမည္ေတြနဲ႔ ပံုေတြနဲ႔အတူ ေဖာ္ျပထားပါတယ္။ ဒါေပမဲ့ ဒီေဖာ္ျပခ်က္နဲ႔ပတ္သက္လို႔ ဗြီအိုေအ အေနနဲ႔ကေတာ့ သီးျခား အတည္ျပဳႏိုင္တာ မရွိေသးပါဘူး။

Prince Charles omits Myanmar from Asia tour amid Rohingya conflict

Myanmar visit was considered for prince’s trip on behalf of British government but it has now been left put of official program

Prince Charles will tour south-east Asia and India later this month but the heir to the British throne will not visit Myanmar, after a spate of violence and allegations that authorities are carrying out ethnic cleansing.

Media reports last month said an official visit to Myanmar was being suggested for the trip, which the prince is undertaking on behalf of the British government, and aides acknowledged it had been considered as part of the schedule.

But it was omitted from the final program issued on Wednesday. Charles and his wife Camilla will travel to Singapore, Malaysia and then to India where he will meet the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi.

“We looked at a range of options in the region and, as we’re announcing today, we’re going ahead with the visit to Singapore and Malaysia,” Philip Malone, the deputy head of department at Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, told reporters.

Malone and royal aides declined to elaborate.

More than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh in the past month since insurgents attacked security posts near the border, triggering fierce military retaliation that the United Nations has branded ethnic cleansing.

Last month Britain suspended its training program for the military in Myanmar because of the violence, and diplomatic relations have deteriorated.

Rights campaigners had argued against a royal visit.

“To have someone of Prince Charles’s stature go to visit the country would be seen as a reward, and giving legitimacy to the government and the military that are currently violating international law,” said Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK.

Charles and Camilla will begin their tour in Singapore on 31 October before going to Malaysia, where they will celebrate 60 years of diplomatic ties since the former British colony became independent, before concluding the 11-day tour in India.

Source : https://www.theguardian.com

ျမန္မာ့အေရးထိေရာက္စြာကုိင္တြယ္ဖုိ႔ ကုလလုံၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီဥကၠ႒သစ္ ျပင္ဆင္

လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီမွာ ေအာက္တိုဘာလ (၁)ရက္ကစၿပီး ျပင္သစ္ႏိုင္ငံအေနနဲ႕ အလွည့္က်ဥကၠဌအျဖစ္ေဆာင္ရြက္မယ့္အခ်ိန္ကာလအတြင္း ျမန္မာ့အေရးကို ဦးစားေပးေဆာင္ရြက္ဖို႔ရွိေၾကာင္း ကုလသမဂၢဆိုင္ရာ ျပင္သစ္သံအမတ္ႀကီး Francois Delattre က ေျပာၾကားလိုက္ပါတယ္။

အေစာပိုင္းကတည္းက သတိေပးမႈေတြရွိခဲ့ေပမဲ့ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံမွာ လူသားခ်င္းစာနာမႈဆိုင္ရာ ေဘးဒုကၡႀကီး ျဖစ္ေပၚမလာေအာင္ ကုလသမဂၢေရာ လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီပါ ဟန္႔တားႏိုင္ျခင္း မရွိခဲ့ဘူးလို႔လည္း ျပင္သစ္သံအမတ္ႀကီးက မေန႔ တနလၤာေန႔က သတင္းေထာက္ေတြနဲ႔ ေတြ႕ဆံုရာမွာ ၀န္ခံေျပာၾကားခဲ့ပါတယ္။မအင္ၾကင္းႏုိင္က အျပည့္အစံုကို ဆက္ၿပီးတင္ျပမွာပါ။

ေအာက္တိုဘာလအတြက္ အလွည့္က်ဥကၠဌအျဖစ္ေဆာင္ရြက္မယ့္ ျပင္သစ္ႏိုင္ငံအေနနဲ႔ လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီမွာ အေရးေပးကိုင္တြယ္ေျဖရွင္းမယ့္ အစီအစဥ္ေတြထဲ ရခိုင္အႀကံေပးေကာ္မရွင္ ဥကၠဌ ကိုဖီအာနန္ကို လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီကို ဖိတ္ေခၚၿပီး ျမန္မာ့အေရး အလြတ္သေဘာေဆြးေႏြးဖို႔ရွိေၾကာင္း နယူးေရာက္ ကုလသမဂၢဌာနခ်ဳပ္မွာ တနလၤာေန႔က ျပဳလုပ္တဲ့ သတင္းေထာက္ေတြနဲ႔ ေတြ႕ဆံုပဲြမွာ ကုလသမဂၢဆိုင္ရာ ျပင္သစ္သံအမတ္ႀကီး Francois Delattre ကအခုလိုေျပာပါတယ္။

“ေအာက္တိုဘာလ၁၅ ရက္ေန႔မတိုင္ခင္ လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီမွာျမန္မာ့အေရးအလြတ္သေဘာေဆြးေႏြးဖို႔ရွိပါတယ္။ ဒီစည္းေ၀းပဲြမွာ ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္ေျမာက္ပိုင္းမွာ ျဖစ္ပ်က္ေနတဲ့ အေျခအေနေတြကိုသာမက ပဋိပကၡျဖစ္ရတဲ့အေျခခံအေၾကာင္းရင္းနဲ႔ ပတ္သက္ၿပီး အားလံုးလက္ခံႏိုင္မယ့္ နားလည္မႈ၊ သေဘာတူညီမႈ ရယူႏိုင္ဖို႔ ေဆြးေႏြးၾကမွာျဖစ္သလို ကိုဖီအာနန္ဦးေဆာင္တဲ့ ရခိုင္အႀကံေပးေကာင္မရွင္ရဲ႕ အႀကံျပဳခ်က္ေတြကို အေသးစိတ္ေလ့လာသံုးသပ္ၿပီးေတာ့ လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီအေနနဲ႔ ဘယ္လိုအေကာင္အထည္ေဖၚႏိုင္သလဲဆိုတာ ေဆြးေႏြးမွာပါ။

ဒါေၾကာင့္ ျမန္မာဟာ လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီက ဦးစားေပးေဆြးေႏြးမယ့္ ႏိုင္ငံတႏိုင္ငံျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ဒါအျပင္ အျခားေကာင္စီအဖဲြ႔၀င္ႏိုင္ငံေတြနဲ႔အတူ လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီရဲ႕ စိုးရိမ္မကင္းျဖစ္မႈေတြကို ေဖၚထုတ္ၿပီး ခိုင္မာၿပီး ပူးေပါင္းေဆာင္ရြက္တဲ့ သေဘာထားနဲ႔ ညွဳိႏႈိင္း ေဆာင္ရြက္မွာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဒီလိုနည္းလမ္းနဲ႔ လုပ္ေဆာင္ဖို႔ အေရးႀကီးၿပီးလိုအပ္တယ္လို႔ က်ေနာ္တို႔ယံုၾကည္ပါတယ္။

ၾသဂုတ္လ ၂၅ ရက္ေန႔က ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္ေျမာက္ပိုင္းမွာ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာ အၾကမ္းဖက္အဖဲြ႕ကေန ျမန္မာလံုၿခံဳေရးစခန္းေတြကို အၾကမ္းဖက္၀င္ေရာက္တိုက္ခိုက္ၿပီးေနာက္ပိုင္း ျမန္မာစစ္တပ္ကေန ျပန္လည္နွိမ္နင္းရာမွာ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာဒုကၡသည္ေပါင္း သန္း တ၀က္နီးပါး ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္နယ္စပ္ကို ထြက္ေျပးရတဲ့ အေျခအေနထိျဖစ္ေပၚခဲ့တာနဲ႔ပတ္သက္လို႔ ကုလသမဂၢအပါအ၀င္ ႏိုင္ငံတကာအသိုင္းအ၀ိုင္းက လူမ်ဳိးတုန္းသတ္ျဖတ္မႈအဆင့္လို႔ သတ္မွတ္ခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။ ဒီအေပၚမွာ ျမန္မာအစိုးရဘက္ကလည္း ျပင္းျပင္းထန္ထန္ ျငင္းဆိုပယ္ခ်ထားတာပါ။ ေသခ်ာတာကေတာ့ အဲဒီေဒသမွာ လူသားခ်င္းစာနာမႈဆိုင္ရာ ေဘးဒုကၡႀကီးျဖစ္ေပၚေနၿပီး ဒါကို ကုလသမဂၢေရာ၊ လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီကပါ ဟန္႔တားႏုိင္ျခင္းမရွိခဲ့ဘူးလို႔ျပင္သစ္သံအမတ္ႀကီးက ၀န္ခံေျပာၾကားခဲ့ပါတယ္။

“သံတမန္ေရးအရ ႀကိဳတင္ကာကြယ္ရာမွာ လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီအေနနဲ႔ မေအာင္ျမင္ခဲ့ပါဘူး။ ဒါေၾကာင့္မို႕လို႔အေစာပိုင္းကတည္းက သတိေပးမႈေတြရွိခဲ့ေပမယ့္ ဒီကိစၥ ဘာေၾကာင့္ ပ်က္ကြက္ခဲ့ရသလဲဆိုတာ ကုလသမဂၢအတြင္းေရးမွဴးခ်ဳပ္နဲ႔ အတူ အျခား ႏိုင္ငံေတြပါ အေသအခ်ာေဆြးေႏြးဖို႔လိုပါတယ္။ဒီလုိအျဖစ္ဆိုးမ်ဳိးဆိုက္မယ္ဆိုတဲ့ သတိေပးမႈေတြ၊ အေျခအေနေတြျပသခဲ့ေပမယ့္ အကာအကြယ္မေပးႏိုင္ခဲ့တဲ့အတြက္ ေၾကကဲြ၀မ္းနည္းဖြယ္ရာ အျဖစ္ဆိုးႀကီးနဲ႔ ရင္ဆိုင္ေနရပါတယ္။”

ဒါေၾကာင့္လည္း လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီမွာ တာ၀န္ရွိေနေၾကာင္းနဲ႔ ပထမေျခလွမ္းအျဖစ္ အလြတ္သေဘာေဆြးေႏြးတဲ့အဆင့္ၿပီးတဲ့ေနာက္မွာ ဒုတိယေျခလွမ္းျဖစ္တဲ့ တညီတညြတ္တည္း ဆံုးျဖတ္ခ်က္ ခ်မွတ္ေဆာင္ရြက္ႏိုင္ဖို႔ ဆက္လက္ေဆာင္ရြက္သြားမွာျဖစ္တယ္လို႔ ဖရန္ဆြာ ေဒးလာခ်ာက ေျပာပါတယ္။

“လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီမွာ ရခိုင္အေရးကို အဓိကက်တဲ့ ႏိုင္ငံေတြနဲ႔ အလြတ္သေဘာေဆြးေႏြးလိုတဲ့ အခ်က္က အကဲျဖတ္ရာမွာ အားလံုးလက္ခံႏိုင္တဲ့ အျမင္ေတြရရွဖို႔၊ ျပႆနာကိုလက္ေတြ႕ေျဖရွင္းတဲ့ေနရာမွာ အားလံုးသေဘာတူႏိုင္မယ့္ လ်ာထားခ်က္ ခ်ျပႏိုင္ဖို႔ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဒီပဋိပကၡႀကီး အဆံုးသတ္ႏိုင္ေရးအတြက္ အေကာင္းဆံုးနည္းလည္းျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဒါက ပထမေျခလွမ္းျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဒုတိယေျခလွမ္းကေတာ့ က်ေနာ္တို႔ အျမင္အရဆိုရင္ ျပတ္ျပတ္သားသား၊ ျပင္းျပင္းထန္ထန္နဲ႔ တညီတညြတ္တည္း လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီအေနနဲ႔ ဆံုးျဖတ္ခ်က္ခ်မွတ္ဖို႔ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ လံုး၀လက္မခံႏိုင္တဲ့ ေၾကကြယ္ဖြယ္ရာ ျဖစ္ရပ္နဲ႔ ပတ္သက္ၿပီးေတာ့ တကယ္လို႔ လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီက ထိထိေရာက္ေရာက္လုပ္မယ္လို႔ စိတ္ပိုင္းျဖတ္မယ္ဆိုရင္ ဒီလမ္းေၾကာင္းအတိုင္းေဆာင္ရြက္ရမွာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။”

လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီမွာ ဒီတႀကိမ္ ျမန္မာ့အေရးအလြတ္သေဘာေဆြးေႏြးဖို႔ ျပင္သစ္နဲ႕အတူ ၿဗိတိန္ႏိုင္ငံက ေတာင္းဆိုခဲ့တာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။

Source : https://burmese.voanews.com

႐ုိဟင္ဂ်ာေတြအတြက္လုိအပ္ပါက ထမင္းတနပ္ေလ်ာ့စားမည္ဟု ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္၀န္ႀကီးခ်ဳပ္ေျပာ

ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ ၾကည္း၊ ေရ၊ ေလတပ္ဖြဲ႔ေတြ၊ ရဲ၊ အုပ္ခ်ဳပ္ေရးနဲ႔ ပါတီေစနာ့၀န္ထမ္းေတြ အေနနဲ႔ ႐ုိဟင္ဂ်ာေတြ ခံစားေနရတာေတြ ေလ်ာ့နည္းသက္သာသြားေစဖို႔ ႀကဳိးစားလုပ္ကုိင္ေနၿပီး ႐ုိဟင္ဂ်ာေတြအတြက္ လုိအပ္ရင္ ထမင္းတနပ္ေလ်ာ့စားမယ္လို႔ ၀န္ႀကီးခ်ဳပ္ ရွိတ္ဟာဆီနာက ေျပာၾကားလိုက္ပါတယ္။

ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ အစိုးရအေနနဲ႔ ဒုကၡေတြ႔ၾကံဳေနတဲ့ ႐ုိဟင္ဂ်ာေတြအတြက္ အစားအစာ၊ ေနစရာနဲ႔ ေဆး၀ါးေတြ ကူညီေထာက္ပံ့ေပးေနတာနဲ႔ ပတ္သက္ၿပီးေျပာၾကားခဲ့တာလို႔ ဒါကာထရီျဗဴး သတင္းစာမွာေဖာ္ျပပါတယ္။

“က်မတုိ႔ လူသန္း၁၆၀ေလာက္ကို ေက်ြးႏိုင္ရင္ ဆင္းရဲဒုကၡအျဖစ္ဆံုး အခ်ိန္ေရာက္ေနတဲ့  ေနာက္ထပ္လူ ၅သိန္းကေန ၇သိန္းေလာက္ကိုလည္း ေက်ြးႏိုင္ပါတယ္။ လိုအပ္မယ္ဆိုရင္ က်မတို႔ တရက္မွာ ထမင္းတနပ္ပဲစားၿပီး က်န္တဲ့တစ္နပ္ကိုေတာ့ ဒီလိုဒုကၡသုတ္ခေရာက္ေန သူေတြ မွ်ေ၀ေပးမယ္”လို႔ ၀န္ႀကီးခ်ဳပ္ ရွိတ္ဟာဆီနားက Ritz Carlton ဟိုတယ္မွာ အေမရိကန္ ျပည္ေထာင္စု ျပည္နယ္အသီးသီးက သူ႔ပါတီေခါင္းေဆာင္ေတြနဲ႔ အျမင္ခ်င္းဖလွယ္ရာမွာ ေျပာၾကားခဲ့တာလို႔ ဆိုပါတယ္။

ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ႏိုင္ငံဟာ မခ်မ္းသာေပမယ့္ ႏွလံုးသားရွိတယ္၊ သူတို႔ဟာ လူသားေတြ ျဖစ္ၾကၿပီး သူတို႔ကို ဘဂၤလားပင္လယ္ေအာ္ထဲကို ပစ္ခ်လို႔မရဘူးလို႔ လည္း ေျပာပါတယ္။

၀န္ႀကီးခ်ဳပ္ ရွိတ္ဟာဆီးနားဟာ အေမရိကန္ျပည္ေထာင္စု နယူးေယာက္မွာ က်င္းပတဲ့ ၇၂ ႀကိမ္ေျမာက္ ကုလသမဂၢအေထြေထြညီလာခံမွာ မိန္႔ခြန္းမေျပာၾကားခင္ နယ္စပ္ ေကာ့စ္ဘဇားမွာ ရွိတဲ့ ဒုကၡသည္စခန္းကိုသြားေရာက္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။

ရခုိင္ျပည္နယ္ကေန နယ္စပ္ျဖတ္ေက်ာ္ ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ဘက္ေျပးသူေတြကိစၥေဆြးေႏြးဖို႔  ႏိုင္ငံေတာ္ အတိုင္ပင္ခံ႐ုံး၀န္ႀကီးဌာန ျပည္ေထာင္စု၀န္ႀကီး ဦးေက်ာ္တင့္ေဆြေခါင္းေဆာင္တဲ့ ကိုယ္စားလွယ္အဖြဲ႔ ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ႏိုင္ငံမွာ ေရာက္ရွိေနၿပီး ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ ႏိုင္ငံျခားေရး၀န္ႀကီးနဲ႔ ေတြ႕ဆံုေဆြးေႏြးေနပါတယ္။

Source : http://burmese.dvb.no

Who really attacked the Rohingya Hindus in Rakhine?

The Myanmar government on September 27 announced it had found a mass grave of Hindus near Fakirabazar, where at least 45 corpses of local Hindus were buried

Among the half million Rohingya refugees who have come to Bangladesh, only a handful of them are Hindus. In their statements to many journalists and authorities, these people have described suffering horrors of slaughter and arson just like their Muslim neighbours.

In particular, Rohingya refugees from the Hindu neighbourhood of Fakirabazar in Maungdaw, described how masked assailants clad in black had shot and stabbed people and dumped the bodies in holes in the ground.

Over the last week and a half, however, some of the statements have begun to change. The Hindus, who are mostly gathered in a separate camp in Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar, have started to blame “militant Muslims” for attacks on the Hindus.

Last week, a group of Rohingya women told AFP they were Hindus, brought forcibly to the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh by a group of men and told to convert to Islam.

A reporter from Indian news magazine India Today also found a woman from this group. She claimed to have been forced to perform namaz and wear a burqa.

Reuters reports that in late August, a group of Hindu Rohingya women had told them it was Rakhine Buddhists who attacked them. But later on, three of them changed their statements to say the attackers were Rohingya Muslims, who brought them here and told them to blame the Buddhists.

The Myanmar government on September 27 announced it had found a mass grave of Hindus near Fakirabazar, where at least 45 corpses of local Hindus were buried. A group of local and foreign journalists were flown to the spot by the Myanmar army and shown decomposing skeletal bodies laid out in rows on a field outside the village, as distraught relatives wailed nearby.

Rohingya killing Rohingya?

The Myanmar Army blamed the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) for this slaughter. Journalists have no access to Rakhine state outside of these official visits and cannot verify any of the official claims.

The same day, the Rakhine state government urged Hindu refugees who fled to Bangladesh to return, promising they will be cared for in Sittwe, according to reports in Myanmar media.

This correspondent visited the camp of Rohingya Hindus in Ukhiya and found them sheltered in a chicken farm and makeshift houses beside a Hindu temple. The majority of them were from the villages of Chikanchhari, Fakirabazar and Balibazar in Maungdaw.

The refugees said they had fled to save their lives from a group of people clad in black, whom they called “Kala Party” (Black Party). They believed these people were Rohingya Muslims.

“Muslim terrorists have become desperate and started resenting the Hindus who have citizenship in Myanmar,” said Puja Mallik, a young Hindu woman whose husband was killed by the masked men clad in black on August 25.

“The government is willing to give Muslims second class green citizenship card like ours, they do not want that. They demand the first class red citizenship cards that the Moghs [Rakhine] have,” she said.

The Myanmar has three tiers of citizenship, and the green card is for “naturalised citizens,” essentially immigrants.

A number of Hindu refugees while arriving in Bangladesh had told the media that they had lost their fathers and husbands at the hands of Myanmar army for their reluctance to partake in Muslim killing in Rakhine.

Cox’s Bazar Correspondent for New Age Mohammad Nurul Islam said: “They arrived in Bangladesh with the Muslim refugees and told us that the Buddhists had attacked them. We have audio records of their speeches.”

“Myanmar military and Buddhists killed my husband for not participating in killing and ousting Rohingya Muslims,” Anika Dhar, a pregnant Hindu housewife, had told the Daily New Age in late August.

She also told a senior journalist with the Reuters Television that she had taken shelter in a Muslim village after her husband was killed and came to Bangladesh with them.

Another woman, Padma Bala, who arrived in Bangladesh on August 30, told the same journalist: “The Moghs [Rakhine] are cutting us up.” The Reuters journalist is still in possession of the audio recording.

Many Rohingya Hindus have said they received support from Muslim neighbours in escaping the army’s persecution.

“The Kala Party with arms, bombs and lethal weapons confined us to our houses for five consecutive days. We managed to escape the confinement with a Muslim neighbour’s help,” Arimahan Rudra told the Dhaka Tribune.

According to him there were 607 Hindus in the camp.

What do Rohingya Muslims say?

The green card citizenship makes the Hindus more privileged than the Muslims. They can study in colleges and universities, they can get jobs and medical treatment from government hospitals, they can travel freely, at least in theory, and they can vote.

On the other hand, Rohingya Muslims demand full-fledged citizenship, acknowledgement as Rohingya, and removal of state-sponsored restrictions; demands that are unlikely to be ever fulfilled.

Many Rohingya Muslims think this is Myanmar’s long-term plan, a classic divide and rule strategy, to create anger and hatred between the two religious groups among the Rohingya.

“We, the Hindus and Muslims, have been living together more than a hundred years in our village. The differences in our religious faiths did not create any trouble,” said Hashu Mia, a Muslim refugee from Fakirabazar village, now in Kutupalong.

“After coming to Bangladesh, I met one of my Hindu neighbours in Kutupalong bazar last week. He was the first to recognise me here. He embraced me tightly and we cried,” he said.

However, some Rohingya Muslims say some members of the Hindu community had sided with the army and Rakhine militia since the violence erupted.

“The Hindus are collaborating with the army and Moghs in Muslim killing. They helped them in looting and torching Muslim houses as they know the localities well,” said Abdus Salam, another Rohingya refugee from Fakirabazar.

“The relation between Hindus and Muslims has significantly deteriorated over a month,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.

Manufacturing a divide

The Rohingya insurgent group ARSA has strongly denounced the allegations brought by the Myanmar army.

“ARSA categorically denies that any of its member of combatants perpetrated murder, sexual violence, or forcible recruitment in the village of Fakirabazar, Riktapur and Chikonchhari in Maungdaw on or about 25 August 2017,” the statement issued on Wednesday said.

Who then, killed the Rohingya Hindus in the Rakhine state?

Rohingya refugees say that since ARSA’s attack, the Myanmar army started a deadly crackdown and killed hundreds of villagers regardless of their religious identities.

“The army is playing a game. The Buddhists and government agents attacked the Hindu villages so that they can justify the military crackdown targeted on Muslim eradication,” Mohammad Ayes, who enrolled himself in ARSA in August, told the Dhaka Tribune.

Mohammad Ayes, who joined ARSA a few days before the insurgent attacks, said the government used the conflict between the Hindus and Muslims, and take side of the Hindus as they were working for them.

Ayes argued that since the ARSA combatants do not have any dress code, they do not need to hide their identity with black masks.

“Whoever uses masks, it means they want to hide their identities and commit atrocities. It is a conspiracy against the Rohingya Muslims to prove that what the army is doing is legal and necessary,”

“If Hindus were really attacked by the Muslims, would they not be afraid to escape with the Muslims to get shelter in Bangladesh?” he asked.

Ayes alleged that since the Rohingya Hindus already had Myanmar citizenship and the government had urged them to return, they were blaming Muslims to express their loyalty towards the government.

Another ARSA member who claimed to be a Jimmadar (commander) told the Dhaka Tribune through a messaging app that the corpses the Myanmar army found could be any Rohingya.

“Now they are showing those bodies and forcing the Hindu people to cry in front of the bodies and say that those corpses were their relatives,” he said.

“UN bodies and others are trying to enter Rakhine state to investigate what atrocities were done by the military. So they buried the bodies of Rohingya. If any investigation is carried out the military will be accused for sure. So to destroy the evidence they are posing Muslim bodies as Hindu bodies,” the militant said.

‘We want to go to India’

Asked why they had come to Bangladesh instead of moving further inland, Bhuban Pal, a refugee in the Hindu camp, said that they perceived all Muslims to be against them and had moved to Bangladesh because it was closer.

“One of our community leaders, Nirmal Dhar, told us we would be safe here and he would arrange our return soon,” he added.

Several refugees, when asked whether they had heard about Rakhine state government’s invitation to the Hindus to return and stay in Sittwe, said they did not feel safe in Myanmar and wanted to go to India.

Source : http://www.dhakatribune.com/