The European Burma Network has called on the newly elected NLD government of Burma to “act swiftly” in addressing the humanitarian crisis confronting the country’s Muslim Rohingya population.
“The past five years have seen a dramatic escalation of human rights abuses, repression, discrimination and violence against the Rohingya,” the EBN statement said.
The Rohingya have faced mounting repression since violence erupted in the country’s Rakhine State in 2012 between Rohingya and Rakhine Buddhists. Regional media reported at least 160 deaths at the time of these riots (between June and October) – most of these were Rohingya.
A report by Yale Law School last year warned that the internment of perhaps as many as 140,000 Rohingya confined in 60 camps across the country and systematic repression “could constitute genocide.”
“The new NLD led government faces enormous challenges in addressing this legacy,” EBN said, “however, given the seriousness of the humanitarian and human rights crisis, bold and decisive action is needed immediately to start to address this issue.”
Negative reports in the international media of an interview by BBC reporter, Mishal Husain, with Ms Suu Kyi have fueled speculation that the new NLD led government might not list the persecution and the humanitarian abuse of the Rohingya minority as a priority. These reports are now doing the rounds of social media and are being used to bolster their various for and against arguments. Ms Suu Kyi, the NLD leader, has spoken out strongly against the sectarian violence plaguing Arakan State. But her critics claim that Ms Suu Kyi has yet to publically condemn the persecution of the tens of thousands of displaced Rohingya forced to now live as internal refugees in their own country.