Myanmar’s government has rejected accusations of state-sponsored genocide against the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority – on the grounds that they claim the term for the ethnic group was “invented”.
An investigation by Al Jazeera America and non-profit Fortify Rights published last month alleged that the highest levels of the state had colluded with Buddhist nationalist monks to discriminate against Muslims.
A statement in state-run newspaper the Global New Light of Myanmar, attributed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, today rejected the claims as “unfounded” and “orchestrated internationally” to undermine the country’s revaluation by the United Nation’s Human Rights Council.
The main thrust of their argument, however, appears to be semantic.
“The government and people of Myanmar do not recognize the term ‘Rohingya’ as it is an invented terminology,” the note reads. “In this respect, the Government of Myanmar categorically rejects the unfounded allegations mentioned in the said papers and news broadcasts.”
Myanmar authorities insist on calling the group ‘Bengalis’, implying they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Although they can trace back their ancestry in the country hundreds of years.
More than one million Rohingya Muslims, who are made stateless, were unable to vote in yesterday’s election.
Note: Changes have been made, COCONUTS YANGON is not responsible for these.
Source: COCONUT S YANGON