PM Modi to discuss security cooperation, Rohingya issue in Myanmar

by Abel Hampton September 5, 2017, 0:18
PM Modi to discuss security cooperation, Rohingya issue in Myanmar

The Rohingya immigrants, who fled to India after violence in the Western Rakhine state of Myanmar, have settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.

Subsequent clashes have sent civilians from all communities fleeing.

The latest deaths raised the Rohingya death toll to at least 40 on Friday, all of whom who died in the river trying to leave Myanmar. On Friday, 16 more bodies were found washed up on the shore.

Foreign governments and rights organisations fear Rohingya villages are being subjected to collective punishment after the group's attacks on police posts and an army base.

On Thursday the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, said the "worsening cycle of violence" in Rakhine was of "grave concern and must be broken urgently".

Latest estimates from United Nations sources suggest more than 27,000 people have crossed into Bangladesh in the area around Cox's Bazar, while 20,000 more remain stranded between the two countries.

A 20-year-old Rohingya protester, who gave his name as Niamutullah, said, "Dead, they are all dead, they were shot".

Myanmar security forces have launched "clearance" operations to sweep out rebels whose ranks appear to be swelling as male Rohingya villagers join their cause.

"Troops exchanged fire with about 80 extremist Bengali terrorists wielding homemade bombs, guns, knives and spears", the statement said, adding the militants then "set their houses on fire and ran away". We have also had a number of occasions for interaction between the Prime Minister, the External Affairs Minister and the Myanmar leadership on the sidelines of other multi-lateral meetings. Independently verifying the situation on the ground is hard because journalists can not gain unrestricted access.

Speaking to the media, a senior MEA official said that India had "reached out Myanmar government after that (attack) on what is state of play and what can be done".

The rag-tag unit has a real fight on its hands against Myanmar's well-equipped army, which has been offered military help from Bangladesh to root out rebels near the border.

"I utterly condemn the violent attacks on security personnel, which have led to the loss of many lives and the displacement of thousands of people", said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, but highlighted the need for government forces to employ a proportionate response.

Rakhine, the poorest region in Myanmar, is home to more than a million Rohingyas. They are not considered one of the country's 135 official ethnic groups and have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless.

"This morning, Myanmar helicopters violated Bangladesh's air space near Ukhia on three occasions", the ministry said in a statement, referring to an area in Cox's Bazar that hosts refugee camps and settlements.


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