12:00 AM, September 02, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:59 PM, September 02, 2018

editorial

Myanmar's 'True News' book is a lie

More evidence of junta's duplicity

We would have hoped that in this digital age, the Myanmar government would have thought twice before doctoring images taken from the Bangladesh genocide in 1971 and the migration of Rwandan Hutu refugees in 1996 and passing them off as evidence of “Bengalis who had killed local ethnic populace”. Reuters news agency has debunked two pictures from a 117-page book titled Myanmar Politics and Tatmadaw: Part I, which is the Myanmar military's narrative on what triggered the brutality in Rakhine state. It is clear from this attempt, albeit a very shoddy one, that the Myanmar government is desperate to portray the Rohingya people as a brutal and hostile one.

The attempt to vilify an unarmed people who have been terrorised and killed in large numbers, uprooted from their homes and herded across the border into Bangladesh, merely reinforces our conviction that not only did the Myanmar government do nothing to stop the atrocities but it was actually complicit in the horrors suffered by the Rohingyas. Why else would the Myanmar military produce a document that can and has been proved to be a fake document in the face of mounting calls for the Rohingya issue to be referred to The Hague?

The Myanmar military's “True News” information unit has been distributing copies to leading book shops which once again proves that this is government propaganda specifically designed to prop up local support and cover up one of the greatest humanitarian disasters in recent memory. What other proof does the international community need before it acts to rein in on a state that has actively abetted in crimes against humanity?