Myanmar Calls Itself A Victim Despite Allowing Rohingya Genocide

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh to escape alleged ethnic cleansing. Yet, the Burmese government calls itself the victim.

Rohingya Muslims

Different estimates show that between 76 to 400 Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have allegedly been killed at the hands of the army since October. Meanwhile, over 570 have been arrested.

At least 27,000 others have fled to the neighboring Bangladesh for safety, while reportedly hiding in rice fields and eating leaves to survive.

Accounts of Myanmar’s army looting and burning Rohingya villages, raping women and murdering villagers at will as part of an ethnic cleansing campaign continue to pour in — and, yet, Myanmar’s government claims it is the victim.

CNN reports a Burmese government spokeswoman, Aye Aye Soe, claimed Myanmar is a "victim of fake news" and a "disinformation campaign” perpetrated by Amnesty International.

"It is most sad and unfortunate that organization like the Amnesty International has also based their report on unsubstantiated allegations, made up photos and made up captions that were floating in the mass media and had come to their own conclusions," the representative said in a written statement to CNN.

"Stoking up international uproars, inciting extremism, hatred and armed attacks would definitely not solve the problems in Rakhine,” she added.

Aye Aye Soe was referring to the Dec. 19 report released by the international human rights organization, according to which Myanmar military is carrying out “crimes against humanity” against Rohingya Muslims.

The report was, in fact, yet another corroboration of all the reports by independent news outlets documenting the same abuses, including arbitrary killings, arrests and rapes against the ethnic minority.

And contrary to the spokeswoman’s claim, Amnesty International based its findings on “extensive interviews with Rohingyas in both Myanmar and Bangladesh,” aided with an analysis of satellite imagery — not “made up photos and made up captions.”

Also, Aye Aye Soe failed to mention, or chose to ignore,  Myanmar’s draconian policy that had obstructed reporters from covering the military crackdown in Rakhine State until this week.

Despite widespread allegations of atrocities by the Myanmar’s army and law-enforcement agencies, security officials in the country blocked and harassed journalists from independent news organizations from reporting on the conflict in the country's northern state since mid-October, according to a statement released by the Committee to Protect Journalists on Nov. 3.

It was only after the international community, including the United Nations, voiced concerns over the reports of violence against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine, the government of Myanmar agreed to allow a group of 13 independent journalists who will be escorted on a three-day trip to the embattled state from Dec. 19 through Dec. 21, as per Radio Free Asia.

"Political space and time must be given to let its initiatives run their courses instead of ganging up to stoke the fire to add more complexities to the issue," Aye Aye Soe added in her statement to the CNN.

For the record, the persecution of Rohingya Muslims at the hands of military and extremists Buddhists has been going on for years and the country’s de facto leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi is well aware of the fact.

While there was an excuse of a military regime before 2015, Myanmar now has a democratic political set-up in power (so to speak.) And during the one year the democratic government has been in power nothing substantial has been done to eradicate the Rohingya Muslim crisis.

Far from that, Suu Kyi, in fact, banned the usage of the term Rohingya recently, which was an incredible victory for Buddhist Islamophobes.

So, how much more “political space and time” and death does the Myanmar government need?

Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS/Iqro Rinaldi

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