Myanmar Army: Mass graves of 28 Hindus found, Rohingyas suspected
Myanmar's army recently discovered bodies of 28 Hindu villagers. They suspect that Muslim Rohingya militants killed these Hindus last month, i.e. before the violence, which has made about four lakh Muslims flee Bangladesh, began. However, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army has denied these accusations saying it has not attacked civilians and has instead accused Buddhist nationalists of spreading rumors to divide Hindus and Muslims. Here's more!
The Rohingyas are an ethnic Muslim group who constitute around one million of Myanmar's predominantly Buddhist 50 million population. They speak a Bengali dialect, mainly reside in the country's impoverished northern Rakhine state. Myanmar views them as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and doesn't officially recognize them as its citizens, rendering them stateless. The Rohingyas have allegedly been subjected to human rights abuses by Myanmar.
There have been spurts of violence in 1978, 1991-1992 and 2012. The latest crisis erupted after the ARSA, which was formed in 2012 and allegedly has al Qaeda's support, attacked 30 border posts. In retaliation, the military launched an alleged "clearance operation" against Rohingyas.
As per Myanmar's 2014 census, Hindus constitute nearly 0.5% of Rakhine's population. About 500 have fled to a Hindu settlement in Bangladesh's southeast. The Hindus say they are scared of going back to Buddhist-majority Rakhine state and are also afraid to stay in Muslim-dominated Bangladesh.
Since Modi took office, orders have been issued that no Hindu immigrant should be considered illegal even if they entered without valid documents on or before Dec. 31, 2014. MoS HM Kiren Rijiju said "there was no policy on Myanmar refugees." The government has not commented on Hindu refugees hoping for Indian citizenship, as it awaits the SC order regarding deportation of about 40,000 Rohingya Muslims.
Meanwhile, the Association for South-east Nations (ASEAN) Chairman urged all parties to look for "viable and long-term solutions to the root causes of the conflict." Malaysia has disassociated from the statement saying that it does not identify Rohingyas as the "affected" party.