Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar Is ‘Ethnic Cleansing,’ U.N. Rights Chief Says

Since then, Rohingya refugees arriving in Bangladesh have told journalists, rights groups and others that soldiers, along with some local residents, had set fire to numerous villages and had butchered Rohingya men, women and children.

Some officials in Myanmar have said that Rohingya had set fire to their own homes and villages. On Monday, Mr. al-Hussein called such accusations a “complete denial of reality” that was damaging the international standing of a leadership that had benefited from considerable good will as the country emerged from decades of military rule.

Mr. al-Hussein’s comments added to mounting international criticism of the military’s actions in Rakhine. Some of it has singled out Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of the elected civilian government, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her resistance to the military dictatorship. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi does not control Myanmar’s military, but she has yet to criticize its crackdown on the Rohingya.

On Friday, the Dalai Lama became the latest Nobel Peace Prize laureate to raise the issue of her silence, following statements from Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and the rights advocate Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, both of whom called on Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi to take action.

The Dalai Lama told journalists in Dharamsala, India, that those who were persecuting Rohingya “should remember Buddha,” a pointed reminder to the Buddhists who make up a majority of Myanmar’s population. Some Buddhist nationalists in Myanmar have campaigned for Muslims to be driven out of the country.

The Buddha “would definitely give help to those poor Muslims,” the Dalai Lama said.

On Sunday, leaders who had gathered in Astana, Kazakhstan, for a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation issued a statement condemning the “systematic brutal acts” against the Rohingya and asked Myanmar to allow a United Nations fact-finding mission into the country to investigate.

That mission was established after an earlier crackdown in Rakhine, in October, also in response to a coordinated attack on security forces by Rohingya militants. Myanmar’s government has refused to cooperate with the mission and has said it will not allow members of the group into the country. The mission is scheduled to report to the United Nations rights council this month.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is currently led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. His wife, Ermine…

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