BY COLIN DWYER
By the latest estimates, roughly 313,000 refugees have fled Myanmar across the border into Bangladesh in a span of just over two weeks. Hardship awaits the fleeing Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority in mostly Buddhist Myanmar: In Bangladesh, they find cramped, makeshift quarters built of bamboo and plastic sheeting, filled with humans and human misery, with few of their possessions.
The Rohingya say what they left behind was worse.
Reports of unbridled murder and arson, rape and persecution have followed them out of Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine, sketching a stark portrait of government violence. In an area largely barred from international observation, aid groups have been left to assemble a patchwork understanding of what’s unfolding — but by nearly all indications, it’s exceedingly grim.
“Because Myanmar has refused access to human rights investigators the current situation cannot yet be fully assessed,” Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, said in a statement Monday, “but the situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”