— Khalsa Aid (@Khalsa_Aid) September 12, 2017
Volunteers from the Sikh community have been part of the aid relief effort for Rohingya Muslims who have fled the genocide in Myanmar.
Khalsa Aid charity, which is registered in the UK, has been on hand in Bangladesh to provide the 300,000-plus refugees with much needed aid.
Volunteers from their branch in Indian are said to be ‘working in tough conditions on the border areas’ in Bangladesh, they are currently in the village of Teknaf in the Cox’s Bazar area which, according to The Independent, has been become a waypoint for those fleeing Myanmar.
— Khalsa Aid (@Khalsa_Aid) September 13, 2017
Speaking to The Indian Express, Amarpreet Singh, managing director of Khalsa Aid India, said:
We had come prepared for providing relief to some 50,000 people, but there are more than three lakh [300,000] refugees here. They are living without water, food, clothes and shelter. They are sitting wherever they can find a corner.
Singh also confirmed the refugee camps are getting over crowded.
Presidental spokesperson for state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Zaw Htay has said the 176 villages in the Rakhine state – where the Rohingya Muslims fled from – have been abandoned.
Rohingya Muslims face widespread discrimination and persecution throughout Myanmar – formerly known as Burma – and its predominantly Buddhist population. They are commonly refereed to as ‘Bengalis’ – Htay’s statement did not refer to them as ‘Rohingya’ – by the state and most of Myanmar, as they believe they migrated illegally from Bangladesh.
Htay refused to confirm whether the government would let the Rohingya refugees back into the country, claiming they would have to be ‘verified’ to be accepted back into Myanmar.
The government is blaming Rohingya for the violent actions taken in their region, however journalists who have been to the villages have questioned claims that the Rohingya have been setting fire to their own homes.
According to The Independent:
Many of the Rohingya who flooded into refugee camps in Bangladesh told of Burmese soldiers shooting indiscriminately, burning their homes and warning them to leave or die.
Their have also been claims they were being attacked by Buddhist mobs.