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Britain should withdraw invitation for Thein Sein to visit: BCUK

The sectarian violence in Arakan State in Burma is growing into a humanitarian and human rights crisis, which has not received the international attention it deserves, Burma Campain UK (BCUK) said in a statement on Tuesday.

Anna Roberts of BCUK  Photo: FacebookThe current crisis has evolved into a Burmese government-led repression against the Rohingya population, it said.

In the past weeks, BCUK said it has received reports saying that Burmese police, security forces and soldiers have raped, looted, tortured and arbitrarily killed Rohingya residents.

There have been reports of camps without sufficient food or medical services, it said.

“Unknown thousands of people fled to Bangladesh, where they are getting no aid or protection, while thousands more are turned back by the government of Bangladesh, literally at gunpoint, in violation of international law,” said the statement.

Local authorities have refused to allow many Rohingya to return to some villages, shops and homes in a policy that appears designed to “cleanse” these areas of Rohingya people, said BCUK.

It said President Thein Sein “has proposed a policy that amounts to ethnic cleansing, asking the United Nations to arrange for Rohingya people to be removed from Burma and sent to third countries.”

“This is an incredibly serious situation and it continues to deteriorate at a very fast rate,” said Anna Roberts, BCUK executive director.

“There has not been anything like the international response that would be expected for a crisis on this scale. Action needs to be taken now to ensure aid can be delivered, arrests and human rights abuses stop, and people are allowed to return safely to their homes.”

Roberts said Britain should withdraw its invitation to Thein Sein to visit the UK in order to bring home the seriousness of the current situation in Arakan State.

She said Britain should take the lead in mobilizing the international community to respond to a human rights and humanitarian crisis in Burma, but the government now seems to focus more on positive news with ministers rarely commenting on human rights violations.

“This no doubt helped to play a role in emboldening President Thein Sein to the degree where he felt he could propose rounding up and expelling all Rohingya people from the country,” said the statement. “Without immediate strong international action, the situation will continue to deteriorate.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 July 2012 13:47 )  

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