Tabnak – As the human crisis in Myanmar is still going on, international concerns over the fate of the Muslims living in this country has been in rise. In a latest development, the UN has expressed concern that a process of ethnic cleansing is being conducted in Myanmar.
The United Nations' top human rights official has denounced the Myanmar government for its apparent "systematic attack” on Rohingya Muslims, warning that "ethnic cleansing” seems to be underway against the minority community.
Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein slammed Myanmar for refusing to give human rights investigators access to the troubled western Rakhine State, where Rohingya Muslims are mainly based.
"The current situation cannot yet be fully assessed, but the situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rigts said.
Zeid, a Jordanian prince, noted that the UN refugee agency has reported that 270,000 people have fled to neighboring Bangladesh in the last three weeks, and pointed to satellite imagery and reports of "security forces and local militia burning Rohingya villages” and extrajudicial killings.
"The Myanmar government should stop pretending that the Rohingya are setting fire to their own homes and laying waste to their own villages,” he added, calling it a "complete denial of reality” that hurts the standing of a country that recently enjoyed "immense good will.”
The remarks come as Myanmar’s military has been accused of planting land mines in the path of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in its western Rakhine state, with Amnesty International reporting two people wounded Sunday.
Refugee accounts of the latest spasm of violence in Rakhine have typically described shootings by soldiers and arson attacks on villages. But there several cases that point to anti-personnel land mines or other explosives as the cause of injuries on the border with Bangladesh, where 300,000 Rohingya have fled in the past two weeks.
Meanwhile, as international pressure mounts on Myanmar to stop the atrocities, Dalai Lama, who is the spiritual leader of Buddhists, has expressed profound concern over the ongoing violence against Myanmar’s Muslims, urging the country's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to find a peaceful solution to the crisis.
Dalai Lama says the suffering of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar would have inspired Buddha to help. Those who are harassing Muslims "should remember Buddha,” said the Dalai Lama, also a Nobel peace laureate, adding that Buddha would have definitely extended a helping hand to "those poor Muslims."
Rohingya have faced decades of discrimination and persecution in Myanmar and are denied citizenship despite centuries-olds roots in the Rakhine region. Myanmar denies Rohingya exist as an ethnic group and says those living in Rakhine are illegal migrants from Bangladesh.