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Rohingya refugees should press Myanmar for their own state

Self-government in Rakhine could persuade them back from Bangladesh

| Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos
Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh: more than 700,000 members of the ethnic Rohingya live in sordid makeshift refugee camps.    © Reuters

"Rohingyas should either be treated as nationals or they should be given their territory to form their own state," said Mahathir Mohamad, the Malaysian prime minister, during his four-day visit to Turkey in late July.

Mahathir's provocative comment came as the international community has made a renewed effort to oppose the atrocities committed for two years now against the Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Myanmar. His words were controversial but necessary, and they set the terms of debate anew.

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