Refugees pretending to be Rohingya to get aid: Myanmar military chief
Myanmar’s military commander-in-chief said some “boat people” landing in Malaysia and Indonesia this month are likely pretending to be Rohingya Muslims to receive United Nations' aid.
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said that many had fled neighbouring Bangladesh, state media reported on Friday (May 22).
The remarks are sure to spark concern after the United States lambasted Myanmar this week for failing to address the cause of the crisis, Reuters reported.
Hundreds of refugees, including Rohingya from Burma and Bangladeshis fleeing persecution and poverty at home, have been pushed back out to sea by Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia this month.
Many now face sickness and possible starvation.
The senior general “hinted that most victims are expected to assume themselves to be Rohingya from Myanmar in the hope of receiving assistance from UNHCR” during a meeting with the US deputy secretary of state, Antony Blinken, on Thursday, the state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported.
He cited reports that the “boat victims” were from Bangladesh.
“He stressed the need to investigate their country of origin rather than to accuse a country,” the newspaper reported.