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Rohingya exodus: Taslima Nasreen slams Bangladesh for sheltering Muslim refugees for votes, not for humanity

Exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen has hit out at Bangladesh's policy on accepting Rohingya refugees from Myanmar's Rakhine state, questioning the country's motivations of coming to the community's aid.

Nasreen questioned if Bangladesh would offer refuge to a persecuted community if they were not Muslims, but belonged to other faiths.

Nearly 410,000 members of the Rohingya Muslim minority fled from Myanmar’s western Rakhine state to Bangladesh to escape a military offensive that the United Nations has branded a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

Bangladesh has for decades faced influxes of Rohingya fleeing persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where the Rohingya are regarded as illegal migrants.

Bangladesh was already home to 400,000 Rohingya before the latest crisis erupted on 25 August, when Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts and an army camp in the western state of Rakhine, killing a dozen people.

Rights monitors and fleeing Rohingya say Myanmar security forces and Rakhine Buddhist vigilantes responded to the 25 August insurgent attacks with what they say is a campaign of violence and arson aimed at driving out the Muslim population.

Myanmar rejects that, saying its security forces are carrying out clearance operations against the insurgents of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, which claimed responsibility for the August attacks and similar, smaller, raids in October.

The Myanmar government has declared the group a terrorist organisation and accused it of setting the fires and attacking civilians.

With inputs from Reuters

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Updated Date: Sep 18, 2017 13:53:23 IST