Buddhists protest UN human rights envoy in western Myanmar

Source: Associated Press

By ESTHER HSUTAN

SITTWE, Myanmar (AP) — Buddhist demonstrators on Wednesday protested the arrival of the U.N. human rights envoy to Myanmar for an information-gathering trip in troubled Rakhine state, where security forces have been accused of rights abuses against the Muslim Rohingya minority.

Less than 100 protesters from the state’s ethnic Rakhine Buddhist community shouted and held signs as Yanghee Lee passed in her car in Sittwe, the state capital, calling her unfair and unwanted.

Lee has criticized the government’s treatment of the Rohingya minority, who face severe discrimination in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. They were the targets of intercommunal violence in 2012 that killed hundreds and drove about 140,000 people — predominantly Rohingya — from their homes to displacement camps, where most remain.

Last October, the army launched counterinsurgency operations in Rohingya areas after assailants presumed to be Rohingya attacked police outposts along the border with Bangladesh, killing nine officers and seizing weapons and ammunition.

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