• Friday, Dec 06, 2019
  • Last Update : 03:27 pm

Myanmar should open its doors to humanitarian assistance

  • Published at 12:03 am May 12th, 2019
Myanmar
Photo: REUTERS

The army, also known as Tatmadaw, reportedly opened fire on 275 men and boys

Regarding the situation at Rakhine state, the Myanmar government has maintained the position that atrocities have not been committed against the Rohingya population, and has even shown an ostensible interest in the repatriation of refugees now being sheltered in Bangladesh.

But if that is the case, and if Myanmar has nothing to hide, there should be no reason to restrict access of humanitarian organizations such as the United Nations, or journalists, to the region of Rakhine.

There is no doubt that there is a great need of humanitarian assistance in Myanmar, and politics aside, it is a matter of the greatest urgency that organizations be allowed in to assess and alleviate the situation, and provide relief for the people.

As the spokesperson for the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights has said, it is important for all countries, including the Myanmar regime, to respect international human rights laws.

But is the Myanmar army playing by the rules? Reports suggest otherwise.

The army, also known as Tatmadaw, reportedly opened fire on 275 men and boys who were being temporarily detained in a village school, killing six and wounding eight. 

After the killing, the army reported laid out the dead bodies in full view of the village, which is said to have been surrounded by the military, and is quickly running out of food.

This is the most dire of humanitarian situations, and it is unacceptable that the UN and other organizations are still being denied access.

But enough is enough, it is time for the international community to make it clear that Myanmar should open its doors to humanitarian organizations immediately, or face the music.