By The Stateless
Sittwe: UN special rapporteur Ms Yanghee Lee is on her 6th Myanmar visit from the 9th to 21st of July 2017, the most persecuted Rohingya ethnic minority in the world hope for appropriate and fruitful measures to be taken by the United Nations and other concerned regional and international humanitarian organizations.
This is Lee’s second official visit since the Myanmar military’s “clearance operation” began in October 2016 and 6th overall to the country formerly known as Burma. She arrived in Rakhine state’s capital Sittwe. She made a trip to Aung Mingalar, the sealed-off Muslim quarter in Sittwe. Arriving at around 10:30 AM she spoke with a group of 25 Rohingya before leaving approximately 45 minutes later for Thet Kyay Pyin Internally Displaced Persons camp– a temporary residence for more than 4000 Rohingya who were forced out of there homes in 2012 during one of the most damaging ethnic cleansing campaigns against the Rohingya. She visited Thet Kyay Pyin for approximately forty minutes.
During her visits Rohingya from Aung Mingalar and Thet Kyay Pyin asked for a speedier resolution to the on-going Genocidal campaign against Rohingya and to address the Myanmar government’s continuous manipulation of the issues in Rakhine state. The denial of the alleged crimes against humanity by the government have been refuted by the immense amount of first-hand testimony of the atrocities committed by the Myanmar armed forces including rape, murder, and imprisonment of children, yet the government persists to make false statements in support of the military, police, and border guard forces. Rohingya hope the UN will pressure to the government to restore their rights as native people of Rakhine State by granting them citizenship.
After visiting Aung Mingalar, Rohingya IDP camps and speaking with Rakhine Yanghee Lee left for Maungdaw. In Maungdaw she also visited several Rohingya villages where Myanmar armed forces have wreaked havoc on communities through the so-called “clearance operations”. She visited the Buithidaung township prison before returning to Sittwe. She spoke with Rohingya community and Rakhines illegally settled on Rohingya land in both townships of Maungdaw and Buithidaung.
Ms Yanghee Lee has expressed her concerns for the on-going clearance operation and is vocal about the need to find a solution. She has been faced with the bitter taste of protests against her by Rakhine extremists. During her visit to Rakhine State the Buddhist extremist and racial hatred spreading gang leader Wirathu has also made a trip to Rakhine State, visiting both Buithidaung and Maungdaw. He is known for his incendiary hate-speech and has a record of inciting protests and mobs with his propaganda.
Human rights groups provided authentication of the allegations of crime against humanity accounting rape, killing, burning alive, looting and burning houses in villages and forcing Rohingya residents to flee from their ancestral homes. Since October of last year 74,000 Rohingya have fled to neighboring Bangladesh as UN official estimate, but the number could be significantly higher. Almost all the Rohingya in the region are unable to access basic needs of food, water, and medical care.