Should India take in more Rohingya refugees?

22 September, 2017, 00:23 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Rohingya Muslim women in Bangladesh stretching out their arms to collect sanitary products distributed by aid agencies

A Red Cross truck carrying aid for Rohingya Muslim refugees crashed in Bangladesh on Thursday killing at least nine people, police said.

This has led to some 410,000 people fleeing to the neighbouring Bangladesh, according to United Nations estimates, joining tens of thousands of others who have fled over the past year. The military has shot civilians as they fled and burned Rohingya villages to the ground.

Britain said it had suspended its "educational training courses" for the Myanmar military due to the ethnic violence in Rakhine state.

"In response to the situation in Myanmar, we are carefully reviewing content against our Community Standards", Budhraja added.

The announcement of a U.S. aid package comes just one day after Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi finally broke her silence on the Rohingya refugee crisis in a speech that drew widespread criticism.

The home minister's statement came days after the central government told the Supreme Court that Rohingya Muslims, who fled the violence in Myanmar, are a threat to national security, citing intelligence inputs. She said historical records clearly suggest that the Rohingya have been living in Rakhine for centuries.

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Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in her first address to the nation on the crisis on Tuesday, said Myanmar was ready to start a verification process to take back refugees, under a 1993 arrangement with Bangladesh. No Rohingya has applied for asylum in India till today.

"We are determined to implement the recommendations of the commission" for a rapid improvement to the situation and "bring an end to suffering of all people", Suu Kyi said, though the government will prioritize the recommended initiatives that are achievable in the short term.

Marzuki Darusman, President of the Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, holds a news conference after his address to the 36th Session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland September 19, 2017.

Nearly 40% of all Rohingya villages in Myanmar's Rakhine State are now empty, a government spokesperson confirmed earlier this week.

Myanmar denies that, saying its forces are waging a legitimate campaign against Muslim terrorists who have been attacking and torching villages of Buddhists and other non-Muslims, some 30,000 of whom were internally displaced.

"This Saturday, UN Secretary-General Guterres said Myanmar must cease the violence and guarantee the refugees" right of return. In reality, they sneaked-in through the Bangladesh border in southern Tripura and were planning to take a train to Guwahati and had plans to go to Delhi for getting refugee status card from UNHCR.

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