THE treatment of Burma’s Muslim Rohingya people following violence that has left hundreds dead is a ‘campaign of ethnic cleansing’, a Bolton MP has warned.

Asking an urgent question in the Commons on recent violence in the country’s Rakhine state, Yasmin Qureshi argued the situation required urgent intervention.

Burmese security officials and insurgents from the Rohingya are accusing each other of burning down villages and committing atrocities in the west of the country.

Rohingya Muslims have long faced discrimination in the majority-Buddhist south-east Asian country.

Over a number of years there had been ‘systematic’ rape, murder, burning and beheading of people in the Rohingya community, the Bolton South East MP said.

She added: “This is one of the worst outbreaks of violence in decades, yet the international community is effectively remaining silent as we watch another Srebrenica and Rwanda unfold before our eyes.”

Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister Mark Field responded: “Our Government will do all it can to condemn where condemnation is the right way forward, but she is well aware the politics of Burma are incredibly tense and incredibly difficult.”

Ms Qureshi said she was disappointed by the response ‘suggesting as if somehow the Rohingya Muslims and these people had caused this to occur’.

His comments also drew criticism from the Tory former chair of the Foreign Affairs select committee, Crispin Blunt.

Mr Blunt praised the ‘tone and manner’ of the urgent question, adding how ‘disappointed’ he was ‘with the tone of the minister which sounded pretty close to dumping the blame for this ethnic cleansing on the victim community’. He added that Aung San Suu Kyi was leading a government and military forces ‘who are associated with behaviour that is utterly unacceptable by any standard at all’.

Unicef says the number of Rohingya fleeing Rakhine is now more than 125,000, 80 per cent of whom are women and children.