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Canada’s New Democrats condemn violence against Rohingya Muslims

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By: Obert Madondo The Canadian Progressive:

A soldier patrols through a neighbourhood that was burnt during recent violence in Sittwe on June 14, 2012. © 2012 Reuters

Photo: © 2012 Reuters

Canada’s Official Opposition has unequivocally condemned the ongoing genocidal violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma.

A systematic campaign of violence facilitated by and at times involving state security forces and government officials since June 2012 has displaced more than 125,000 Rohingya and Kaman Muslims in western Burma’s Arakan State. During another orgy of ethnic violence in the central  town of Meikhtila on March 20 to 22, “mobs and Buddhist monks” attacked Muslim residents and burned down mosques and homes, and killed an unknown number of people.

Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch accused the Burmese government of exacerbating the crisis by restricting the delivery of international aid to the internally displaced people, most of whom are living in squalid refuges camps.

In a brief statement issued Wednesday, the NDP called on the Harper Government to pressure the Burmese government lift these restrictions:

Today New Democrat International Human Rights Critic Wayne Marston issued the following statement in reaction to the situation in Burma:

New Democrats condemn unequivocally the ongoing violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma.

A large-scale humanitarian crisis is in the making. The Burmese government has systematically blocked humanitarian aid and imposed discriminatory policies on Rohingya Muslims in Arakan State.

An ethnic campaign of violence and abuse since June 2012, at times involving state security forces and government officials, has displaced more than 125,000 Rohingya and Kaman Muslims in Burma. Tens of thousands of Rohingya are living in temporary shelters with limited access to humanitarian necessities.

Over the weekend at least 20 people were killed, and 12,000 people were displaced during three days of violence. Mobs destroyed at least 5 mosques and burned dozens of homes.

New Democrats call on the Government of Canada to exert diplomatic pressure on the Burmese government to provide unlimited access to humanitarian agencies so that assistance can be provided to the affected populations.

Human Right Watch also accused Burma of denying Rohingya citizenship, failing to institute an action plan to resolve the crisis, and refusing to allow displaced Rohingya to return to their homes. The New York-based organization says the humanitarian crisis will ultimately result in long-term segregation and statelessness for the Muslim minorities.

Last week, Anonymous drew global attention to the Rohingya’s plight through “Operation Rohingya“.  The hactivist collective also instituted DDOS operations targeting 14 Burmese government sites.

Article originally published by The Canadian Progressive

Related: Rohingya Muslims in Burma Face Humanitarian Crisis: Human Rights Watch

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