Fri Sep 8, 2017 05:52PM
james jatras
james jatras
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The US and other Western governments are not sincere about their criticism of the Myanmar government for committing atrocities against the Rohingya Muslims, says a former US Senate policy adviser and diplomat.

“I’m always very suspicious of the motives of the Western governments and Western media when they take up the cause of a Muslim minority in some country,” said James Jatras, who is also a specialist in international relations and legislative politics in Washington.

“We remember how the West did the same thing with the Kosovo Albanian Muslims in Serbia in the 1990s,” Jatras told Press TV on Friday.

“It seems to be a lot of this is crocodile tears; that they will make a big show of showing concern, but what they’re really trying to do is cover up their own actions in places like Iraq and Libya and Syria,” he added.

US and UK officials have expressed concerns about the deadly violence against the Rohingya but refused to address calls for international sanctions against Myanmar, and also avoided to blame Myanmar’s de facto ruler Aung San Suu Kyi over her complicity in the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims.

The large-scale violence began about two weeks ago when a group claiming to defend the Rohingya launched attacks on several border and police posts north of Rakhine, killing several officers. The army, backed by Buddhist mobs, then embarked on a massive “clearance operation,” which according to many eyewitnesses, has forced tens of thousands from their homes.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, confirmed Thursday that some 164,000 Rohingya Muslims had fled Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine to seek refuge in camps in Bangladesh since a harsh crackdown against them started on August 25.

Refugees who have made it into Bangladesh have also recounted the violence by Myanmar troops and Buddhist mobs, saying they set their homes ablaze, sprayed bullets indiscriminately and stabbed civilians. The refugees say they were ordered to abandon their homes or be killed.