Wednesday, January 24, 2018 | ePaper

Attack on minorities in Rakhine must stop

US House adopts resolution on

  • Print
PTI :
The US House of Representatives has condemned the "ethnic cleansing" of Rohingya Muslims and called on Myanmar's leadership to end attacks on minorities in the Rakhine state, in the stiffest congressional criticism of the government in the Buddhist-majority country.
The House passed a resolution yesterday, urging immediate restoration of humanitarian access to the Rakhine state where unrest has forced over 600,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh.
"This slaughter must end, and our resolution ought to send a strong message to Burmese leaders that their commitment to restoring democracy will be judged by their respect for the individual rights and freedoms of all people living within Burma's borders, no matter their faith or ethnicity," House Democratic Whip Steny H Hoyer said in a statement.
Introduced by Congressmen Joe Crowley and Eliot Engel, the resolution condemns the "horrific actions" of the military and security forces and calls for an immediate cessation of violence. The resolution also urges the restoration of humanitarian access to the restive Rakhine state where unrest has forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh.
"It also calls for Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar's de facto leader) to exercise moral leadership, something that's needed now more than ever," Engel said in his remarks on the House floor yesterday. "We reject the Army's claims that what's taking place in Burma is a so-called counterterrorism measure-that's nonsense. It's a textbook ethnic cleansing, that's what it is," Engel said.     "We should also encourage other governments to stay engaged and continue to address the pressing needs of these refugees' needs that will only grow as long as this situation remains unresolved," he said.
Clashes erupted after the August 25 deadly attacks by militants on security forces in the Rakhine State, sparking a major army crackdown on the community.
According to the UN estimates, more than 6,00,000 members of the minority Muslim group have fled across the border into Bangladesh since then, triggered a grave humanitarian crisis in the country.
"Bangladesh deserves our deep gratitude for opening its doors to the Rohingya at a time when our government slams the door shut," Engel said.
"The governments of Burma and Bangladesh have struck a deal to begin repatriating Rohingya next month, but it's not yet clear that anyone is interested in returning right now," he said.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum, who visited the refugee camps in Bangladesh last month, said that as Congressional fact-finding mission has noted their visits to refugee camps and conversations with survivors made it clear that the persecution of the Rohingya people in Myanmar is a "severe humanitarian crisis that demands robust" American leadership.
"This resolution is an important first step in demonstrating that Congress will not tolerate human rights abuses against Rohingyas. As our delegation saw, there is a path forward. The Burmese government and military must fully implement the recommendations of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's advisory commission," McCollum said.
Meanwhile in Geneva, at a special session on Myanmar by United Nations Human Rights Council, the US called for all actors to play a constructive role in resolving the human rights situation and hold perpetrators of human rights violations accountable.
The US urges an immediate end to violence, restoration of the rule of law, countrywide access for the UN Fact-Finding Mission, immediate humanitarian and media access to affected areas, and guaranteed and verifiably safe, voluntary, and dignified return for those who want to return to their homes, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said.
Congressman Steve Chabot said Rohingyas had long been at the fringe of Burmese society and it is no secret that the Burmese military regards them as outsiders who don't belong in Burma at all.
"That is why they used attacks in August, by a rogue group of Rohingya, as a pretext to terrorise the entire Rohingya population," he alleged. "Together, these atrocities amount to what has been called a 'textbook example of ethnic cleansing'," Chabot alleged on the House floor.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said that he held the military leadership in Myanmar responsible for the current refugee crisis.

More News For this Category

Tales of development people are not buying

The government is expecting the official announcement of the country's promotion as a lower middle income country in March. Already it has started to give a wide number of

DU VC kept confined for four hours

DU VC kept confined for four hours

DU Correspondent :After four hours confinement at his office Dhaka University (DU) Vice-Chancellor (VC) Professor Akhtaruzzaman was rescued by Bangladesh Chattra League (BCL) activists yesterday afternoon beating the demonstrators on

Govt to shut down Facebook to prevent question leak

Staff Reporter :The Education Ministry plans to shut the facebook and others social media for a certain time during the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and its equivalent examinations, the Ministry

Myanmar blames BD for delay

AFP, Yangon :Myanmar blamed Bangladesh on Tuesday for delays to a huge repatriation programme for Rohingya refugees, as the deadline passed for starting the return of the Muslim minority to

Youth hacked to death in city

Staff Reporter  :A 23-year old youth was hacked to death by some unidentified miscreants in the Old Dhaka  on Tuesday.The victim has been identified as Jewel Mia, son of Mujibur

Lending growth signals downside risks

Kazi Zahidul Hasan :Private sector credit growth has surpassed target by 3.4 per cent in July-December last year thanks to aggressive lending by the commercial banks.The credit growth rose to

 Congress votes to end shutdown

Congress votes to end shutdown

AFP :Congress put the US government back in business Monday by voting to end a three-day shutdown, as President Donald Trump claimed victory in his standoff with Democrats in Washington.

Ivy pledges again to free footpaths 9 AL men, others sued

Md Joynal Abedin Khan :Releasing from a city hospital after taking seven-day treatment for brain haemorrhage, Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy speaking to The New Nation on

New camps being guarded by same military force

HRW News, (Bangkok)  :Bangladesh's decision on January 22, 2018, to delay the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Burma should be followed by suspending the bilateral plan, which threatens the refugees'

DB files case against Edn Ministry's two staff, owner of Lakehead School

Staff Reporter :The Detective Branch of police have filed a case against two staff members of Ministry of Education and the owner of Lakehead Grammar School for the alleged bribery.Police