MYANMAR rejected accusations yesterday that it was responsible for the south-east Asian migrant crisis as Malaysia began talks with neighbouring countries.
Myanma presidential office director Major Zaw Htay said on Saturday that while the country was not ignoring the plight of migrants it would not “accept the allegations by some that Myanmar is the source of the problem.”
Some 2,000 migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar have gone ashore in overloaded boats in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in recent weeks.
Malaysia says it cannot accept more refugees and its navy is now turning back the boats that the UN has dubbed floating coffins after supplying them with food and water.
“It’s sad that these people are being pushed out to sea by some countries,” said Maj Htay.
Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority have suffered ongoing attacks by their Buddhist neighbours in recent years.
Myanmar has been criticised by Western countries for its crackdown on the 2007 “saffron revolution” protests by Buddhist monks.