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World should act on atrocities in Myanmar before a genocide unfolds

By Hassan Malik | December 6th 2016 at 12:57:41 GMT +0300

The systematic atrocities against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar are drawing global attention.

But if this external concern is not supplemented with urgent pacific action and sanctions, the "slow genocide", as Desmond Tutu once described it, will continue to wreak havoc on the community to its extinction.

The Rohingyas make up one million of the 50 million predominantly Buddhist population in Myanmar. And while they see themselves as an ethnically distinct group, their enemies have linked them to the Bengalis in Bangladesh, and accused them of being in the country illegally.

For the last 25 years, they have endured gross violations of human rights and other abuses from the Government and a Buddhist terror organisation, which tacitly seems to be enjoying the support of the Government in what the Human Rights Watch has described as "ethnic cleansing ".

Due to the institutionalised racism and brutality, thousands of Rohingyas in Myanmar have taken the risk of fleeing the country by using crowded boats and passages that are hostile.

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Those who stay behind are restrictively held in ghetto- like camps manned by the local police. Apart from the denial of citizenship, the Rohingyas also face lack of basic rights such as healthcare, education and jobs.

Under the guise of pursuing "terrorists" after last month's attacks on three police posts, where nine officers were killed, there have been reports of collective punishment and extra judicial killings, torture and rape of the Rohingyas.

According to Reuters, 30,000 have fled since the launch of the military crackdown, and satellite images of Human Rights Watch found hundreds of buildings in Rohingya villages were burned.

Myanmar Budhists Rohingya Muslims extrajudicial killing
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