Aung Hlaing claims Rohingya’s not natives, refugee numbers exaggerated

| Updated: October 24, 2017 01:30:53

Aung Hlaing claims Rohingya’s not natives, refugee numbers exaggerated

Myanmar army chief claimed that Ronhingyas are not natives of the country in a meeting with US ambassador.

He also accused the media of exaggerating the number of refugees fleeing, according to a report on bdnews24.com.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing gave his account of the Rohingya refugee crisis aimed at international audience in the meeting with Ambassador Scot Marciel on Thursday.

Min Aung Hlaing, referring to Rohingyas by the term "Bengali", which they regard as derogatory, said British colonialists were responsible for the problem.

"The Bengalis were not taken into the country by Myanmar, but by the colonialists," he told Marciel, according to the account of the meeting posted his facebook page.

"They are not the natives, and the records prove that they were not even called Rohingya, but just Bengalis during the colonial period."

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley last month denounced what she called a "brutal, sustained campaign to cleanse the country of an ethnic minority" and called on countries to suspend providing weapons to Myanmar until its military puts sufficient accountability measures in place.

The European Union and the United States are considering targeted sanctions against Myanmar's military leaders, officials familiar with the discussions said this week.

Suu Kyi is due to make a speech on television later on Thursday.

She was swept into office last year after winning an election, but the military holds immense power, including exclusive say over security.

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