• Friday, Oct 30, 2020
  • Last Update : 09:46 pm

Myanmar army chief compares Rohingya crackdown to Northern Ireland

  • Published at 07:52 pm May 12th, 2017
  • Last updated at 08:15 pm May 12th, 2017
Myanmar army chief compares Rohingya crackdown to Northern Ireland

Myanmar's army chief Min Aung Hlaing defended his military's violent crackdown on Rohingya Muslims by comparing it to Britain's campaign to tackle sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland, according to a statement released by his office Friday.

UN investigators believe Myanmar's security forces may have carried out ethnic cleansing of the persecuted minority during a months-long operation in the north of Rakhine State.

The military campaign has left hundreds of Rohingya dead and forced some 75,000 to flee across the border to Bangladesh, bringing harrowing accounts of rape, torture and mass killings by soldiers.

Myanmar has repeatedly rebuffed the allegations, saying troops were carrying out necessary counter-insurgency operations after Rohingya militants attacked police border posts in October.

On Thursday Myanmar's army chief Min Aung Hlaing compared the crackdown to Britain's operations in Northern Ireland in a meeting with Jonathan Powell, a former top British negotiator in the peace process.

Powell, who was chief of staff to former British prime minister Tony Blair, helped broker the Good Friday agreement in 1998 that ended decades of violence between Catholic Irish nationalists and Protestant British unionists in Northern Ireland.

After the "terrorist attack... the Tatmadaw (Myanmar military) helped the police take security measures," the army commander said, according to a statement released on Friday.

"Such occurrence was similar to that of Northern Ireland."

He also used the meeting to denounce any claim to citizenship by the more than one million Rohingya Muslims who live in Rakhine.

Stripped of citizenship by Myanmar's former military leaders in 1982, the Rohingya, who have lived in Rakhine for generations, are loathed by many in the Buddhist-majority country who claim they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and refer to them as "Bengalis".

Deadly communal violence in 2012 forced more than 120,000 Rohingya into squalid displacement camps where they live in apartheid-like conditions with little access to food, healthcare or education.

"First, they must accept themselves Bengalis, not Rohingya," Min Aung Hlaing said.

"Then, those who reside in that region need to accept enumeration, registration, and citizenship scrutiny under the law."

Powell was Britain's chief government negotiator on Northern Ireland from 1997 to 2007 and now heads conflict resolution NGO Inter Mediate.

blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail