What will the world do about Rohingyas? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 08, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:17 AM, March 08, 2018


What will the world do about Rohingyas?

Action needed to stop ethnic cleansing

We commend the statement issued by the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights in recognising that Rohingyas continue to be victims of ethnic cleansing and forced starvation and that the Myanmar government says one thing to the international community and does something diametrically opposite to the Rohingya community. Bangladesh is now hosting practically the entire Rohingya populace on its soil and going by the steps taken by the Myanmar government that has deployed its army along our border, it would seem that the deployment has only two purposes. First, it seems to be a pre-emptive measure to stop the Rohingya repatriation back to Myanmar along what has been agreed upon bilaterally between Bangladesh and Myanmar. And second, more ominously, it could very well be that the remaining Rohingyas could eventually be pushed out of that country and into Bangladesh.

The world talks and condemns the atrocities taking place in Myanmar. Despite irrefutable aerial footage of Rohingya villages being pillaged and destroyed, all we are left with are statements of condemnation. That will not have any effect on a government that can stoop to ethnic cleansing. While Myanmar shows the thumb at the UN by refusing to let in neutral observers to see for themselves what has happened in the state of Rakhine, how long will it be before the world's inaction convinces the Myanmar government that it faces no serious threat in terms of punitive sanctions? Is that the message the world community is giving to Myanmar? That it will stand by while the wholesale suppression of a people is allowed to be perpetrated?

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