Buddhists protested to urge Myanmar’s government not to repatriate Rohingya Muslims

In this image made from video, protesters march in Sittwe, Myanmar, on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017. Hundreds of hard-line Buddhists protested Sunday to urge Myanmar's government not to repatriate the nearly 600,000 minority Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh since late August to escape violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State. (AP Photo)

Vastavam web:  Hundreds of hard-line Buddhists protested Sunday to urge Myanmar’s government not to repatriate the nearly 600,000 minority Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh since late August to escape violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.The protest took place in Sittwe, the state capital, where many Rohingya lived before an outbreak of inter-communal violence in 2012 forced them to flee their homes.Myanmar doesn’t recognise Rohingya as an ethnic group, instead insisting they are Bengali migrants from Bangladesh living illegally in the country. Rohingya are excluded from the official 135 ethnic groups in the country and denied citizenship.

More than 580,000 Rohingya from northern Rakhine have fled to Bangladesh since Aug. 25, when Myanmar security forces began a scorched-earth campaign against Rohingya villages.Myanmar de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s government said earlier this month that it was willing to take back Rohingya refugees who fled to southeastern Bangladesh. The government has agreed to form a joint working group to start the repatriation process.Today, protesters, including some Buddhist monks, demanded that the government not take back the refugees.