An elderly Rohingya Muslim man helps a boy get off a boat after they arrived from Myanmar to Bangladesh in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017.(AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
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Even as the United Nations has called the army crackdown on the Rohingya "ethnic cleansing," Western diplomats – from countries competing with China for influence in the Southeast Asian nation – say abandoning Suu Kyi or reimposing sanctions could risk Myanmar's democratic transition.Though Rohingya families have lived in Myanmar for generations, they are denied citizenship and access to basic civil rights such as freedom of movement, decent education and health care.Attacks by Rohingya militants on security posts last month triggered an army operation that has killed more than 400 people, destroyed over 6,800 houses and sent nearly 400,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh. Rohingya refugees and rights groups say the army has launched a campaign aimed at driving them out.Many in Myanmar fear the Rohingya present a threat to the Buddhist Rakhine majority in Rakhine State.Thiri Thant Mon, managing director at Yangon-based investment advisory firm Sandanila, said many in Myanmar think the international community has wrongly directed its attention to the Rohingya fleeing Myanmar, instead of the suffering of Rakhine Buddhists in one of its poorest states.
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