Army sup­port­ers, Bud­dhist na­tion­al­ists march in Myan­mar

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

Peo­ple marched in Myan­mar’s largest city on Mon­day to sup­port the mil­i­tary, which has come un­der heavy crit­i­cism over vi­o­lence that has driven hun­dreds of thou­sands of Ro­hingya Mus­lims to flee to neigh­bour­ing Bangladesh.

More than 2,000 army sup­port­ers, in­clud­ing Bud­dhist na­tion­al­ists and monks, took part in the march. “I want to urge you to sup­port the mil­i­tary. Only if the mil­i­tary is strength­ened will our sovereignty will be se­cured,” a se­nior Bud­dhist na­tion­al­ist monk, Za­gara, said.

More than 6,00,000 Ro­hingya from north­ern Rakhine state have fled to Bangladesh since Au­gust 25, when Myan­mar se­cu­rity forces be­gan a scorched-earth cam­paign against Ro­hingya vil­lages. Myan­mar’s gov­ern­ment has said it was re­spond­ing to at­tacks on po­lice out­posts by in­sur­gents, but the United Na­tions and oth­ers have said the re­sponse was dis­pro­por­tion­ate. Nyunt Yi, a 70-year-old re­tired mil­i­tary sol­dier who served in the army for more than 40 years, said Sun­day that “only the army can pro­tect the se­cu­rity and stop the il­le­gal in­trud­ers,” re­fer­ring to the Ro­hingya. Myan­mar’s Bud­dhist ma­jor­ity de­nies that Ro­hingya are a sep­a­rate eth­nic group and re­gards them as hav­ing mi­grated il­le­gally from Bangladesh.


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