Source: The Washington Post
SINGAPORE — A year ago, the Myanmar military embarked on a sweeping crackdown in restive Rakhine state — driving out almost a million Rohingya to Bangladesh and creating one of the world’s largest refugee camps while allegedly raping women, killing children and beheading men in the process.
Today, even as sanctions mount and the U.S. State Department and the United Nations ready reports that are likely to detail premeditated efforts by the military to effectively rid the state of Rohingya Muslims, generals remain defiant. They believe they essentially eliminated a threat that was “growing bigger and bigger,” according to one account of conversations top Myanmar military leaders have had with counterparts from Southeast Asia.
“There was a sense that their problem in Rakhine had been solved, that this was their solution,” said a person familiar with the conversations, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. Militants, the military alleged, had embedded in villages and towns, and they had to be stopped.