Myan­mar mil­i­tary pledges to in­ves­ti­gate mass killing

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - WORLD -

BANGKOK >> Myan­mar’s 5 civil­ian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called the mil­i­tary’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the deaths of Ro­hingya Mus­lims found in a mass grave a “pos­i­tive in­di­ca­tion,” state me­dia re­ported Satur­day. The mil­i­tary, which has been ac­cused of in­dis­crim­i­nate killings, rape and burn­ing of Ro­hingya vil­lages, ac­knowl­edged that se­cu­rity forces and vil­lagers were re­spon­si­ble for the deaths of 10 peo­ple found in a mass grave in De­cem­ber.

It said the 10 were “Ben­gali ter­ror­ists” who had threat­ened vil­lagers, but that the mil­i­tary would “take ac­tion” against those who “broke the rules of en­gage­ment.” The gov­ern­ment of Bud­dhist-ma­jor­ity Myan­mar does not ac­knowl­edge Ro­hingya as a mi­nor­ity group even though they have lived in the coun­try for gen­er­a­tions. It says they’re im­mi­grants from neigh­bor­ing Bangladesh.

Since Au­gust, mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions have driven more than 650,000 Ro­hingya into refugee camps in Bangladesh.

“It is a pos­i­tive in­di­ca­tion that we are tak­ing the steps to be re­spon­si­ble,” Suu Kyi said, ac­cord­ing to a re­port in the Global New Light of Myan­mar news­pa­per. “How­ever, some may worry. But I be­lieve that our in­ves­ti­ga­tion will pre­vent such things from hap­pen­ing again.”

Suu Kyi made the com­ments Fri­day dur­ing a joint news con­fer­ence with Ja­pan’s for­eign min­is­ter. Suu Kyi is Myan­mar’s for­eign min­is­ter as well as the gov­ern­ment’s civil­ian leader, though the mil­i­tary has a fi­nal say in se­cu­rity mat­ters. Nei­ther the mil­i­tary nor Suu Kyi has said what ac­tion will be taken against those re­spon­si­ble for the deaths linked to the mass grave in Rakhine state, where most of the Ro­hingya live.


A Ro­hingya fam­ily awaited tem­po­rary shelter Satur­day at a refugee camp in Bangladesh. Gov­ern­ment troops in Myan­mar have been ac­cused of eth­nic cleans­ing that has forced more than 655,000 Ro­hingya Mus­lims to flee into Bangladesh.

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