Muslim free zones on rise in Myanmar, claims Human Rights body

Australia has committed to providing up to $5 million in response to the escalating violence in Rohingya

"Because Myanmar has refused access to human rights investigators the current situation can not yet be fully assessed, but the situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing", Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein told the UN Human Rights Council.

Delivering the opening statement at the 36th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the high commissioner for human rights, came down heavily on Yagoon and New Delhi for their approach towards Rohingya matter.

Al Hussein criticised the Myanmar government, stating that its denial on the Rohingya issue was doing great damage to the worldwide standing of a government which had until recently, he said, benefited from huge goodwill.

"It is vital that aid agencies. have the resources they need to provide emergency assistance to incredibly vulnerable people who have been forced to flee their homes and have arrived in Bangladesh with nothing", UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Robert Watkins said.

Earlier, during the diplomatic briefing the foreign minister apprised them that around 300,000 Rohingyas have already entered Bangladesh in last two weeks although Bangladesh has already been hosting 400,000 Rohingyas for three decades.

Three Rohingya are reported to have been killed by a mine, and at least two more have lost limbs.

"The worldwide community is saying it is a genocide.

We have said we'll help them", he said, adding that the problem took a "new turn" after the August 25 attacks.

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"We have received multiple reports and satellite imagery of security forces and local militia burning Rohingya villages, and consistent accounts of extrajudicial killings, including shooting fleeing civilians", Zeid said.

Replying to a question by the Chinese and Indian envoys, Shahidul said: "As China and India are our brotherly countries, they expressed solidarity with Bangladesh and assured us of staying with us to face the situation".

So far, an estimated 270,000 Rohingya refugees have fled from the violence affected Myanmar's Northern Rakhine state and sought refuge in Bangladesh where the limited shelter capacity is already exhausted, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said on Friday.

In a report, United Nations investigators said the human rights violations constituted crimes against humanity.

The commission among others recommends that the government takes concrete steps to end enforced segregation of Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims; ensure full and unfettered humanitarian access throughout the state; tackle Rohingya statelessness and "revisit" the 1982 Citizenship Law; hold perpetrators of human rights violations accountable; and end restrictions on freedom of movement.

In response, the military intensified "clearance operations" against "terrorists", driving thousands of people from their homes.

Those flocking into Bangladesh have made harrowing allegations of murder, rape and widespread arson by Myanmar's army.

The lawmakers also sharply criticised Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi for her silence regarding the ongoing brutality against the Rohingyas and for saying that the world media was lying about the genocide.

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