Istanbul:Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lambasted Myanmar for launching a Buddhist-led terror campaign against the Rohingya Muslims in the west of the country, while slamming the international community for failing to act against the ongoing “genocide” in the region.
“At the moment, there is a clear Buddhist terror in Myanmar … There is a very clear genocide over there,” said Erdogan on Monday during a speech in Istanbul.
The Turkish president also said there had been constant efforts for covering up the crimes committed by Buddhist mobs against the Rohingya minority Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
“Buddhists always get represented as envoys of goodwill,” he said, adding, “I don’t know how you can gloss over this with yoga, schmoga. This is a fact here. And all humanity needs to know this,” he said.
Erdogan further criticized the international community for failing to pile up pressure on Myanmar over the crackdown, which has seen more than 430,000 Rohingya Muslims flee their homes to neighboring Bangladesh over the past month, in what United Nations officials have designated as a clear form of ethnic cleansing.
Military forces and Buddhist mobs have attacked dozens of villages and towns in the north of Rakhine under the pretext of hunting down suspected militants who had launched attacks on border and police posts in the region.
The government of Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has denied that security forces had compelled the Rohingya to flee by killing people and torching their homes, claiming the Rohingya have themselves set the villages on fire.
Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has yet to explain why members of the Rohingya community, estimated more than a million before the recent surge of violence and exodus, should set their own homes on fire.
Amnesty International has criticized Suu Kyi for the deadly military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims.
The rights group said last week that “Rohingya homes and villages continue to burn, before, during and after their inhabitants take flight in terror.”
“Not satisfied with simply forcing Rohingya from their homes, authorities seem intent on ensuring they have no homes to return to,” said Tirana Hasan, Amnesty’s director of crisis response, in a statement late Friday.
The absence of international monitors has allowed Myanmar’s army to easily deny atrocities.