By Hilmy Ahamed –
The extremist Buddhist monks continue vigilante action and have now targeted the 33 Rohingya refugees who are under the care of UNCHR and housed in Ratmalana. This morning they have been intimidated and attacked by an extremist group led by Akmeemana Dayarathana Thero of Sinhala Ravaya. The Mount Lavinia Police took the Myanmar refugees in to custody from their home in Ratmalana and brought them to the Mt. Lavinia police station for detention. They were subsequently released when it was proven that they were refugees under the care of UNHRC. When these refugees returned to their home around 2.30 PM, the extremists have once again surrounded their residence and are demanding their deportation.
The Police who were present at the scene despite the pleas of UNHRC behaved “as usual” – indifferent to the trauma of these unfortunate people. Vigilantly action by this group claiming to be the unofficial police of the Buddhists continues with impunity. No Buddhist monk or civilian has been arrested for threatening the peace of a people who are under the protection of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The Sri Lankan Navy arrested these Myanmar refugees when their boat ran in to mechanical trouble and drifted towards the coast of Jaffna. They were remanded and subsequently released by the Jaffna magistrate and brought to the detention center in Mirihana for deportation to Myanmar. Based on an application by UNHCR, they have been provided permission for temporary stay until UNHRC finds a 3rd country for them. During their detention, a police officer raped a 15-year-old refugee girl while taking her back to the Mirihana detention centre from the Kalubowila hospital.
Tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state since the military began a security operation in October 16 in response to what it says was an attack by Rohingya armed men on border posts, in which nine police officers were killed.
Last month Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s defacto leader continues to deny reports of security forces carrying out ethnic cleansing of the country’s Rohingya Muslims, despite the United Nations and human rights groups saying a crackdown by the army may amount to crimes against humanity.
Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate has turned out to be the butcher of Myanmar and her standing within the peace community is waning over the treatment of the Rohingya. She has not condemned the crackdown and has not spoken out in defence of the persecuted minority. There have been growing calls from all over the world to withdraw her Nobel Prize for peace.
Millions of Rohingya are not recognized as an ethnic minority and targeted as “illegal” immigrants from Bangladesh They have lived in Myanmar for generations amongst the Buddhist-majority.
A UN report in February 2017 claims the Myanmars army’s campaign targeting the Rohingya involved mass killings, gang rapes and the burning down of villages, likely amounting to crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.
In the latest ethnic cleansing operations, close to a million Rohingyas have crossed over to Bangladesh, seeking refuge.
Social media carries visuals of slaughtering men, women and children, rape and burying while alive and mass murder shows the brutality of the Myamnar armed forces.