Myanmar bulldozing Rohingya villages, human rights group claims

In this image provided by Ministry of Information Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson left speaks with Myanmar's Foreign Minster Aung San Suu Kyi during their meeting at Foreign Ministry Office in February in Naypyitaw Myanmar. Ministry of Infor

In this image provided by Ministry of Information Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson left speaks with Myanmar's Foreign Minster Aung San Suu Kyi during their meeting at Foreign Ministry Office in February in Naypyitaw Myanmar. Ministry of Infor

The bulldozing of villages have raised concerns by human rights groups that the Burmese government is destroying crime scenes before any credible investigation of the atrocities, some say have amounted to genocide and ethnic cleansing, takes place.

Myanmar has cleared 55 villages of structures and vegetation using heavy machinery since late 2017, HRW said.

The group said it could not independently verify if any of the destroyed villages were inhabited when the demolition began, though the imagery suggests that the demolitions are ongoing.

"Bulldozing these areas threatens to erase both the memory and the legal claims of the Rohingya who lived there".

The United Nations has described military actions against the Rohingya as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing". Independent reporting or fact finding in the area by reporters or forensic experts has not been permitted.

Earlier this month, The Associated Press reported evidence of at least five mass graves at just one location; others, including two Reuters reporters who were arrested by Myanmar officials, have also reported evidence mass graves in Rakhine state, where most of the atrocities have been reported.

Aerial photographs of levelled villages in northern Rakhine State were first made public February 9 when the European Union's ambassador to Myanmar, Kristian Schmidt, posted images taken from an aircraft of what he described as a "vast bulldozed area" south of the town of Maungdaw. Those unable or unwilling to return to their homes have the right to choose compensation from the government for their loss of homes and property. "The roads will also be widened, and we will install lampposts as well". But that does not appear to be the case for the majority of those built or planned so far, and many Rohingya fear authorities are seizing land they've lived on for generations. "What HRW said must refer to these clearings, but we must clear the areas to implement the plan".

"Everything is wiped away, and this is very concerning, because these are crime scenes", he said. "If I were a Rohingya, I would not dare return".

Myanmar has established two reception centres and a camp for returnees, but it says they are temporary and people will be able to return to their original places or nearby.

"The only difference is now we have a Nobel Peace Prize victor complicit with the cover-up and serving as chief flak for the military", he said, referring to Aung San Suu Kyi's silence about the military violence against the Rohingya.

Knut Ostby, the interim United Nations coordinator for Myanmar, said in a release the immediate concern was to provide humanitarian aid to people in need, "irrespective of their religion, ethnicity, gender or citizenship status".

Meanwhile, the European Union is preparing to impose sanctions on Myanmar army generals and diplomats over the crackdown on the Rohingya.

Myanmar tourist arrivals rose 18% past year to 3.44 million visitors, despite global condemnation over the treatment of its Rohingya Muslim population.

"The wild elephant trampled a Rohingya child to death. and then trampled another Bangladeshi man to death when it was chased by Rohingya refugees and local villagers", Ali Kabir, the district forest department chief, told AFP.

Recommended News

  • Sridevi passes away at 54!

    Sridevi passes away at 54!

    She acted in several commercially hit films including Tohfa , Chandni , Mr India , Nagina , Chaalbaz among others. The actress was with her Husband Boney Kapoor and Daughter Khushi in Dubai attending a relative's wedding.
    Trump, Turnbull pledge to confront N. Korea over nuclear weapons pursuits

    Trump, Turnbull pledge to confront N. Korea over nuclear weapons pursuits

    Mr Turnbull has been pressed on whether he believes President Trump should follow Australia and enact a weapons buyback program. Before he and Turnbull met, Trump said that he expected "a lot of good things" would come from the session.
    Trump mulls pulling some federal agents from California

    Trump mulls pulling some federal agents from California

    His administration has previously vowed to step up immigration raids in California. You would see crime like no one's ever seen crime in this country.
  • Terrorists strike in Budgam and Srinagar,Two police personnel killed

    Terrorists strike in Budgam and Srinagar,Two police personnel killed

    He was injured after unknown terrorists attacked a police post guarding the revered shrine this afternoon. The martyred security personnel has been identified as Constable Farooq Ahmad, said reports.
    Japan hopes United States  returns to TPP but overhaul tough, says negotiator

    Japan hopes United States returns to TPP but overhaul tough, says negotiator

    US President Donald Trump surprisingly flagged the possibility of re-joining the TPP last month. They have abolished numerous controversial rules, especially in the pharmaceutical sector.
    Slovak ice hockey team goes home

    Slovak ice hockey team goes home

    The only Slovak goal was scored by Peter Čerešňák. "We came in with the idea of being confident", forward Ryan Donato said. As top-seeded Sweden, the Russians and Canada wait for the other winners, the Czech Republic is up next for the US.
  • Barnaby Joyce succumbs to pressure and will go to backbench

    Barnaby Joyce succumbs to pressure and will go to backbench

    Mr Joyce still enjoys strong support among some of his colleagues who believe he is their best electoral asset. The son of sheep and dairy farmers, Joyce has led the rural-based Nationals for two years.
    Storm system brings flooding, freezing rain, snow to Midwest

    Storm system brings flooding, freezing rain, snow to Midwest

    A trough of low pressure is forecast to approach from the southwest to spread light snow or ice pellets across P.E.I. EXTENDED: Winds will shift ot the south and warmer air will start to move in early Thursday .
    Net neutrality rules will officially end on April 23

    Net neutrality rules will officially end on April 23

    Despite the name of the FCC's order, there are no provisions within the document to provide additional protections for consumers. In December the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) overturned net neutrality rules instated under President Obama.
  • Trump May Fire National Security Advisor HR McMaster

    Trump May Fire National Security Advisor HR McMaster

    CNN previously reported that McMaster has been at odds with the President and other cabinet officials over the past year . Officials could not yet confirm what job McMaster might be nominated for if he were to leave the White House.
    Russian Military: Militants in Syrian Eastern Ghouta Impede Civilians' Exit

    Russian Military: Militants in Syrian Eastern Ghouta Impede Civilians' Exit

    Syrian state media reported one person was killed and 58 injured in rebel shelling of sites in Damascus, including a hospital. The voting on the draft resolution was initially set for Friday, 19:00 Moscow time and later rescheduled for 22:30.
    Bouchard recalls locker room fall

    Bouchard recalls locker room fall

    Her attorney, Benedict Morelli, said it was time for the tennis pro to get on with her life "outside the court, but on the court". She is now ranked 116th, well outside the ranking cut off for the main draw, but said she was hoping to receive a wild card.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.