News / Asia

HRW: Burma in Danger of Long-term Segregation

Rohingya refugees in the Southern province of Pattani, Thailand. (Photo courtesy Deep South Journalism School)Rohingya refugees in the Southern province of Pattani, Thailand. (Photo courtesy Deep South Journalism School)
x
Rohingya refugees in the Southern province of Pattani, Thailand. (Photo courtesy Deep South Journalism School)
Rohingya refugees in the Southern province of Pattani, Thailand. (Photo courtesy Deep South Journalism School)
VOA News
A top human rights group is warning that Burma is in danger of creating a long-term state of religious segregation if it does not take steps to resettle minority Rohingya Muslim refugees.

About 100,000 Rohingya were displaced following a deadly outbreak of Muslim-Buddhist violence last year in western Rakhine state. Months later, the refugees remain in poorly supplied camps, cut off from the rest of the population and prevented from leaving by government security forces.

In a report Wednesday, Human Rights Watch says the government's failure to make efforts to return displaced Rohingya "heightens concerns of a long-term intent to segregate the population." In the city of Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state, it says the Muslim population is now "completely segregated."

Burmese officials have suggested the segregation is temporary and necessary to prevent further unrest in an area where prejudice against Muslims is not uncommon. But Human Rights Watch says Burma has not put forward adequate plans to reconcile the communities or reintegrate the refugees.

The New York-based group is urging the government to act quickly, warning the upcoming rainy season could create a humanitarian "disaster" for the camps, many of which are in paddy fields or lowland areas. It is concerned that flooding could overflow already inadequate latrines, spreading waterborne disease through the camps.

Human Rights Watch also says tens of thousands of Rohingya, particularly those unregistered refugees living outside the camps, still lack adequate humanitarian aid. It says the Burmese government is blocking attempts by aid agencies to deliver help.

The United Nations says the Rohingya people are among the world's most persecuted minority groups. They are denied citizenship and many other basic rights in Burma, where they are instead regarded as illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh.

Several rights groups say that when the unrest broke out last year in Rakhine state, Burmese security officials did little to stop, and in some cases participated in, the anti-Muslim violence.

Some say that scenario was repeated last week, when the religious tension once again surfaced in the central town of Meikhtila and proceeded to spread southward toward Rangoon. At least 40 people have been killed and thousands more displaced in the latest unrest.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: CrygDyllyn from: USA
March 30, 2013 6:14 PM
I know I should feel sympathy. But, I don't. With all the hate, intolerance, and violence shown to non-muslims in the muslim world, I find it hard to gather much sympathy for a muslim group receiving it in kind. Considering the slaughter of Christians in Nigeria, and the persecution of Bahai's in Iran. this is minor.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid