India calls Rohingya refugees 'threat to national security'

India calls Rohingya refugees 'threat to national security'

An estimated one million Rohingya Muslims live in the Rakhine region of Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

Bangladesh accuses Myanmar of flying drones and helicopters over its border, violating its air space, over the past week and warned more "provocative acts" could have "unwarranted consequences".

Officials speaking on condition of anonymity have said Canada has been reluctant to overtly blame Suu Kyi for the violence against the Rohingya because it believes Myanmar's military is using it to undermine her global reputation. "We need to collaborate with good understanding", he told Reuters.

On Wednesday, Myanmar government spokesman Zaw Htay said that in the northern area of Rakhine, 176 out of 471 Rohingya villages now stand empty after "the whole village fled", adding others were partly deserted or intact.

United Nations agencies say an estimated 409,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since August 25, when deadly attacks by a Rohingya insurgent group on police posts prompted Myanmar's military to launch "clearance operations" in Rakhine state.

Bangladesh has said all refugees must go home.

Bangladesh is struggling to provide relief for exhausted and hungry refugees - some 60 percent of whom are children - while almost 30,000 ethnic Rakhine Buddhists as well as Hindus have also been displaced inside Myanmar.

"She will also call the global community and the United Nations to put pressure on Myanmar for the repatriation of all the Rohingya refugees to their homeland in Myanmar", he said.

Suu Kyi's supporters inside the country, where she still enjoys saint-like status for her democracy struggle, have balked at the global criticism heaped on their leader and argued she must tread carefully around a military that still looms large in the fragile democracy.

On a visit to London where he met British Prime Minister Theresa May and foreign minister, Boris Johnson, he told a news conference: "I think it is a defining moment in many ways for this new, emerging democracy". Based on several assessments made by intelligence agencies, the government reached a conclusion that Rohingyas could be a security threat as they are vulnerable to be recruited by terror groups. After the recent army attack, the community is wandering to nearby countries in search of shelter and security.

Bangladeshi and Pakistani migrants to Greece along with Greek protesters hold banners against the killing of the Rohingya people in Myanmar as they participate in an anti-fascism demonstration in Athens on September 16, 2017. "Can the Centre send back those Muslims back, who even have the permission of the Human Rights Council to stay here?"

The United States has called for the protection of civilians and a deputy assistant secretary of state, Patrick Murphy, is due in Myanmar next week. Myanmar's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has come under harsh global criticism for failing to speak out against the violence, with some arguing she should be stripped of both her Nobel Peace Prize and her honorary Canadian citizenship.

Separately, the Committee to Protect Journalists has called on Bangladesh to release two Myanmar journalists detained last week while covering the refugee crisis.

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