Stop inhumane navy 'push-backs'

World leaders meeting at the United Nations in New York this week will address the Myanmar government's ethnic cleansing campaign against its Rohingya population. Meanwhile, Thailand's military junta has announced a policy designed to push back desperate Rohingya seeking to escape the atrocities in Myanmar's Rakhine state, and deny them access to refugee protection.

On Aug 25 the militant Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacked 30 police outposts and an army base. In response, the Myanmar military carried out mass arson, killing and looting, destroying hundreds of villages and forcing nearly half a million Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. The United Nations called it "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

Rather than sympathy and support for those at risk, Thailand is preparing to respond with the back of its hand. The Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, announced authorities will enforce a three-step action plan.

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