Protests across Asia over Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims

时间:2017-09-10 单词数:4260

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Thousands of people took to the streets across Asia Friday to denounce Myanmar’s treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority.


At least 270,000 Rohingya have fled northern Myanmar into Bangladesh in the past two weeks, according to the United Nations refugee agency, roughly a third of all Rohingya living in the predominantly Buddhist country. More than 1,000 people have been killed in the violence, the UN estimates.


Political and Islamic groups, along with other civil society organizations, joined protests in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka Friday to urge Myanmar to "stop committing genocide" and take back those who have sought refuge elsewhere.


Placards and banners criticized Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.


Protests also took place in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Pakistan.The government of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, blames terrorists for starting the violence. Rohingya militants killed 12 security officers in border post attacks two weeks ago.


Marchers in Dhaka expressed their outrage at reports of abuse coming from Myanmar."I’ve joined the rally to express my solidarity with the Rohingya people," activist Mahfuza Haque Neela told CNN. "The Rohingya people, including women and children, are being killed ... women are being raped." He added that "everyone should stand beside the Rohingya people."


Over a thousand Muslim devotees belonging to the organization Islamic Movement Bangladesh joined a rally in the capital’s downtown Paltan area after Friday’s noon prayer.The movement’s leaders demanded the immediate deployment of UN peacekeepers in Rakhine state and the implementation of the recommendations made by a commission led by former UN head Kofi Annan, which warned unrest in the state could spiral out of control unless concrete action is taken soon.


The Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which also organized rallies in Dhaka and elsewhere, has urged the country’s government to "force Myanmar to take back the Rohingya." The party’s secretary general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, has criticized Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for "failing to deal with the issue."


On Thursday, Hasina denounced insurgent activities in Rakhine state which the Myanmar government has blamed for causing the recent violence, though she also criticized the actions of the country’s army.


Dhaka’s Buddhist community also protested Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya Friday, and warned the crisis was being used to inflame feelings against Buddhists in Bangladesh.Security has been beefed up around Buddhist temples and other institutions in Dhaka and elsewhere. Hardline Buddhist groups in Myanmar have been accused of inciting racial hatred against Rohingya.