Malaysian aid flotilla arrives for Rohingya amid protest

A ship carrying 2,300 tonnes of food, medicine and other emergency supplies arrives in Myanmar’s Yangon region days after a UN report accused Myanmar's security forces of raping, torturing and killing thousands of Rohingya Muslims.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A Buddhist group and monks protest outside Yangon's Thilawa port against the arrival of a Malaysian ship carrying aid for the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.

A Malaysian ship carrying aid for Myanmar’s long-persecuted Muslim Rohingya minority arrived in the country's Yangon port on Thursday. Dozens of Buddhists and monks were there to meet the flotilla with protests.

The delivery comes days after UN reports accused Myanmar's security forces of carrying out a campaign of mass killings, rape and torture against the Rohingya. The Myanmar government denies the allegations. 

The wave of violence began in 2012 between the Buddhists, who are a majority of the country's population, and Muslims, who are labelled "Bengalis", a shorthand for undocumented immigrants. About 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims live in apartheid-like conditions in northwestern Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship.

"We want to let them know that we have no Rohingya here," said a Buddhist monk named Thuseitta, from the Yangon chapter of the Patriotic Myanmar Monks Union.

Malaysia provided 2,300 tonnes of food, medicine, and other emergency supplies for the Rohingya.

According to the UN reports, more than 1,000 Rohingya Muslims may have been killed in a recent Myanmar army crackdown. Nearly 70,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in recent months.

TRTWorld and agencies