Myanmar calls US Rohingya genocide accusation “far from reality”

The United States announced on Monday it will classify Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya ethnic group in 2017 as a genocide. Now, Myanmar has hit back. Its foreign ministry said in a statement yesterday that the United States’ remarks are “far from realities”, claiming the United States made the decision based on “unreliable and unverifiable” sources.

In 2018, the US State Department released a report detailing violence against the Rohingya in western Rakhine state as “extreme, large-scale, widespread, and seemingly geared toward both terrorising the population and driving out the Rohingya residents”.

The Rohingya people mostly live in the Rakhine State of Myanmar. Most of them are Muslims, while Myanmar is a Buddhist-majority country. They have their own language. In 2017, Rohingya militants launched arson attacks against over 30 police posts. Myanmar’s military, and local Buddhist mobs, then burned down Rohingya villages, killed civilians, and raped Rohingya women. Since then, over 700,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States decided to categorize Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingyas as genocide based on documentation by human rights organisations and other impartial sources. He said it is also based on the government’s own fact-finding efforts. But Myanmar’s foreign ministry insists Blinken’s statements are “politically motivated”, accusing him of interfering in Myanmar’s internal affairs.

Meanwhile, Myanmar’s military also stands accused of crimes against other ethnic minority groups, such as the Karen hill tribe. Last week, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights accused Myanmar’s military of burning Karen women and children alive.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | BBC

Myanmar calls US Rohingya genocide accusation "far from reality" | News by Thaiger

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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