Myanmar Buddhists march against repatriation of Rohingya Muslims

| Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 17:00
First Published |

Myanmar Buddhists march against repatriation of Rohingya Muslims

Bangkok: Radical Buddhists from Myanmar, including monks, demonstrated on Wednesday in Yangon against international pressure on Myanmar to repatriate thousands of Rohingya Muslims.

Rohingyas are an ethnic minority group persecuted in Myanmar and victims of human-trafficking networks.

According to the UN, some 4,000 Bangladeshis and Rohingyas are on boats abandoned by traffickers in the Bay of Bengal, while a further 3,000 have disembarked in Malaysia and Indonesia since early May.

Demonstrators gathered in the former capital of Myanmar to march in opposition to UN pressure on Myanmar to accept the return of the Rohingyas, whom they consider to be illegal immigrants from Bnagladesh, according to broadcaster Channel News Asia.

They also objected to the manner in which international organisations and media have dealt with the refugee crisis that has picked up over the last month.

Myanmar has been referred to as the source of the crisis, for not accepting Rohingyas as citizens.

Nearly a million Rohingyas live in Myanmar, mostly in the western state of Rakhine, where they suffer discrimination, including limitations on their rights to movement, property and the number of children they can have.

The situation worsened in 2012 after sectarian violence in which at least 140 people, mostly Rohingyas, died and 140,000 others were displaced.

According to the UN, 25,000 illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar have taken to boats in the first quarter of 2015, double the number for the same period last year. 

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