Wednesday, June 20, 2018 | ePaper

Myanmar erects security posts on burned Rohingya land: AI

  • Print
AFP  :
Myanmar is building security installations on top of razed Rohingya villages, Amnesty International said Monday, casting doubt on plans to repatriate hundreds of thousands of refugees.
Nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled northern Rakhine State to Bangladesh since Myanmar launched a brutal crackdown on insurgents six months ago that the US and UN have called ethnic cleansing.
Myanmar rejects that term, saying it was responding to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army in late August. But critics accuse the military of using the insurgent attacks to launch disproportionate, scorched-earth "clearance operations" as a pretext to push out the loathed minority.
The new Amnesty report, "Remaking Rakhine State", uses satellite imagery and interviews to point to a rapid increase in military infrastructure and other construction since the start of the year that researchers say amounts to a "land grab".   
"The new evidence and the rebuilding that Amnesty has documented in our latest research shows that the Myanmar authorities are building over the top of the very places the Rohingya need to return to," Tirana Hassan, Amnesty's crisis response director, told AFP ahead of the report's release on Monday.
"In some instances there has been the destruction of existing homes."
Though admitting the images only paint a partial picture, the rights group says structures for security forces, helipads and even roads have been built in and around torched Rohingya properties.
Satellite imagery of one village called Kan Kya on the outskirts of Rakhine's Maungdaw town taken two months after the August attacks shows a settlement scarred by fire.
But by early March buildings could be seen on the revamped land. Amnesty believes they are part of a new base for security forces. Similar building activity was also detected in Inn Din village, where Myanmar has admitted that its security forces took part in the killings of 10 Rohingya residents in September.
Rakhine State has been largely sealed off from rights groups, the media and UN investigators.
Myanmar and Bangladesh were supposed to start repatriating Rohingya refugees in late January but many are reluctant to return to a place without guarantees of basic rights and safety.
The report also highlights concerns that abandoned Rohingya land will be set aside for ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and other non-Muslim groups in the area, and that alterations to the landscape will erase evidence of alleged atrocities by the military. Zaw Htay, a government spokesman, rejected the claims, and said the government was not basing military forces in residential areas but that police stations were part of village construction plans. "It's not true that we are deploying the military among houses and among villages," he said, adding that bulldozing is necessary to work on burned land.

More News For this Category

Rickshaws have been lined up in long queue in the streets as rickshawpullers left the city to celebrate Eid with near and dear ones in their village homes. This photo was taken from Tejgaon area on Tuesday.

Rickshaws have been lined up in long queue in the streets as rickshawpullers left the city to celebrate Eid with near and dear ones in their village homes. This photo was taken from Tejgaon area on Tuesday.

IMF has large brain, 'tiny conscience'

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has a 'tiny conscience' and must do more to protect low-income and vulnerable individuals from bearing the brunt of austerity policies, says a report by

Three Engrs get bail

Court Correspondent :The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court of Dhaka on Monday granted bail to three engineers of Biman Bangladesh Airlines in a case filed about the technical glitch of Prime

US stands with BD to support policy of protection: Bernicat

US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat on Tuesday said the United States stands proudly with Bangladesh to support a policy of protection and accountability."Bangladesh stands out as a beacon of hope and

Bail pleas of 2 accused rejected

Court Correspondent :A court of Dhaka yesterday rejected bail petitions filed by two persons who made derogatory comments about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on Facebook

Hectic electioneering ahead of GCC polls

UNB, Gazipur :With not many days remaining for the Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) polls, all the mayoral, councilor candidates and women candidates for reserve seats are already in the field

Denying liberty on public health pretext must stop: UN

Countries around the world must stop routinely locking up citizens because of stigma, prejudice or health conditions, says the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health Dainius Puras."The use

Return of Rohingyas with dignity demanded

Staff Repoter :Civil Society members and NGOs on Tuesday demanded that the government should continue pressure on international community to repatriate Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.Addressing a human chain in front

Budget laced with both poison, honey: Firoz Rashid

Jatiya Party MP Kazi Firoz Rashid on Tuesday harshly criticised Finance Minister AMA Muhith for placing the national budget for the 2018-19 fiscal which what he said is laced with

Saudi plane catches fire, players safe

Saudi plane catches fire, players safe

The Guardian :Saudi Arabia's plane has landed safely despite a terrifying incident when it caught fire during their flight to Rostov-on-Don for the World Cup game against Uruguay on Wednesday.The