Burma Violence

An armed police officer guards as Rohingya Muslims stand behind him at a refugee camp in Sittwe, capital of Rakhine State, western Burma. Pic: AP.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. House of Representatives has called on Burma to end persecution of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities, in the stiffest congressional criticism yet of the nation’s reformist government.

The House approved the resolution late Wednesday after debating the plight of the 140,000 Rohingyas displaced during clashes with majority Buddhists in western Burma.

Lawmakers of both parties were strongly critical of the Burma government.

Republican Rep. Ed Royce accused Burma of systematically denying the Rohingya basic of human rights, while subjecting them to “unspeakable abuses.”

Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern said Rohingya were now dying of preventable causes because severe restrictions and attacks had forced humanitarian groups out of the region.

The resolution does not sanction Burma, which denies discriminating against Muslims.