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Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

The United States said it was very concerned and urged the government to continue to provide “unfettered” access for humanitarian agencies.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the Doctors Without Borders said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for the Rohingya Muslim minority, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

“We urge the government to continue to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need and to unsure unfettered access for humanitarian agencies,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. Congress on Myanmar, also reacted to the reported expulsion. “It is the responsibility of the Burmese government to protect civilians. This is deeply troubling,” he said in a tweet.

Psaki said the U.S. understands that Myanmar’s government and Doctors Without Borders are in discussions on the group resuming operations.

—-

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders has been kicked out of Myanmar after two decades of caring for sick people in one of the world’s poorest countries, in a decision the group said Friday risks tens of thousands of lives.

The government defended its decision, accusing the group of creating tensions and instability in violence-scarred Rakhine state, where it has faced repeated protests for treating members of the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the group said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As one of the nation’s biggest providers of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group said it was “deeply shocked by this unilateral decision.” It also gives life-saving medicine to 3,000 tuberculosis patients. Even small treatment disruptions can lead to drug-resistant strains that are more difficult and expensive to fight.

A confidential document dated Feb. 26 said Myanmar’s presidential office ordered Doctors Without Borders registration “to be cancelled.” Presidential spokesman Ye Htut told 7 Day daily on Friday that the contract had been cancelled nationwide.

The spokesman criticized the aid group in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for Rohingya.

He also accused it of misleading the world about the attack last month in remote northern Rakhine, cut off to almost all foreigners, including journalists and aid workers. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have died, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Ye Htut was quoted by the independent media outlet, the Democratic Voice of Burma, as saying that Doctors Without Borders claimed it had treated victims with gunshot and slash wounds. But he questioned that, saying the group refused to arrange a meeting between the government and the patients.

“We see that their activities, instead of offering assistance in the region, are fuelling tensions and are detrimental to the rule of law,” he said.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, deep-seated ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state and several other regions, killing up to 280 people and forcing tens of thousands more to flee their homes. Most of the victims have been Rohingya, chased down by Buddhist-led mobs. The United States and others are worried that democratic reforms made in the last three years are being rolled back.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has provided care in northern Rakhine, home to more than 1 million Rohingya, and they are also present in more than a dozen camps for the displaced people elsewhere in the state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from Rakhine Buddhists, Doctors Without Borders has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning group said it was unable to provide primary health care to those displaced by the ongoing crisis and in isolated villages and that no other organization operates in the area on the same scale, including providing emergency treatment along with assistance for pregnant women and newborn babies.

Former Maine congressman Tom Andrews, who visited camps in Rakhine state this week, called the government’s decision “outrageous.”

He said the aid group has been “found guilty of telling the truth about attacks against the Rohingya last month. For this, the lives of tens of thousands of desperate people have been put at risk.”

Since 1992, Doctors Without Borders has filled a gap in Myanmar’s neglected and woefully underfunded health sector where tuberculosis is at nearly triple the global rate as multi-drug resistant forms of the disease surge. It remains one of the hardest places in the world to access HIV drugs, which are given to only the sickest people. It was unclear how patients barred from the group’s clinics would continue receiving medicine.

Many of the country’s 1.3 million Rohingya – identified by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world – have been living in the country for generations, but the government insists they are here illegally. Almost all have been denied citizenship, rendering them stateless. Systematic and discriminatory policies limit their freedom of movement, access to health care, right to worship and have children.

Associated Press writer Robin McDowell contributed to this report.

Follow Margie Mason on Twitter: twitter.com/MargieMasonAP

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders has been kicked out of Myanmar after two decades of caring for sick people in one of the world’s poorest countries, in a decision the group said Friday risks tens of thousands of lives.

The government defended its decision, accusing the group of creating tensions and instability in violence-scarred Rakhine state, where it has faced repeated protests for treating members of the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the group said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As one of the nation’s biggest providers of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group said it was “deeply shocked by this unilateral decision.” It also gives life-saving medicine to 3,000 tuberculosis patients. Even small treatment disruptions can lead to drug-resistant strains that are more difficult and expensive to fight.

A confidential document dated Feb. 26 said Myanmar’s presidential office ordered Doctors Without Borders registration “to be cancelled.” Presidential spokesman Ye Htut told 7 Day daily on Friday that the contract had been cancelled nationwide.

The spokesman criticized the aid group in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for Rohingya.

He also accused it of misleading the world about the attack last month in remote northern Rakhine, cut off to almost all foreigners, including journalists and aid workers. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have died, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Ye Htut was quoted by the independent media outlet, the Democratic Voice of Burma, as saying that Doctors Without Borders claimed it had treated victims with gunshot and slash wounds. But he questioned that, saying the group refused to arrange a meeting between the government and the patients.

“We see that their activities, instead of offering assistance in the region, are fuelling tensions and are detrimental to the rule of law,” he said.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, deep-seated ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state and several other regions, killing up to 280 people and forcing tens of thousands more to flee their homes. Most of the victims have been Rohingya, chased down by Buddhist-led mobs. The United States and others are worried that democratic reforms made in the last three years are being rolled back.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has provided care in northern Rakhine, home to more than 1 million Rohingya, and they are also present in more than a dozen camps for the displaced people elsewhere in the state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from Rakhine Buddhists, Doctors Without Borders has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning group said it was unable to provide primary health care to those displaced by the ongoing crisis and in isolated villages and that no other organization operates in the area on the same scale, including providing emergency treatment along with assistance for pregnant women and newborn babies.

Former Maine congressman Tom Andrews, who visited camps in Rakhine state this week, called the government’s decision “outrageous.”

He said the aid group has been “found guilty of telling the truth about attacks against the Rohingya last month. For this, the lives of tens of thousands of desperate people have been put at risk.”

Since 1992, Doctors Without Borders has filled a gap in Myanmar’s neglected and woefully underfunded health sector where tuberculosis is at nearly triple the global rate as multi-drug resistant forms of the disease surge. It remains one of the hardest places in the world to access HIV drugs, which are given to only the sickest people. It was unclear how patients barred from the group’s clinics would continue receiving medicine.

Many of the country’s 1.3 million Rohingya – identified by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world – have been living in the country for generations, but the government insists they are here illegally. Almost all have been denied citizenship, rendering them stateless. Systematic and discriminatory policies limit their freedom of movement, access to health care, right to worship and have children.

Associated Press writer Robin McDowell contributed to this report.

Follow Margie Mason on Twitter: twitter.com/MargieMasonAP

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders has been kicked out of Myanmar after two decades of caring for sick people in one of the world’s poorest countries, in a decision the group said Friday risks tens of thousands of lives.

The government defended its decision, accusing the group of creating tensions and instability in violence-scarred Rakhine state, where it has faced repeated protests for treating members of the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the group said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As one of the nation’s biggest providers of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group said it was “deeply shocked by this unilateral decision.” It also gives life-saving medicine to 3,000 tuberculosis patients. Even small treatment disruptions can lead to drug-resistant strains that are more difficult and expensive to fight.

A confidential document dated Feb. 26 said Myanmar’s presidential office ordered Doctors Without Borders registration “to be cancelled.” Presidential spokesman Ye Htut told 7 Day daily on Friday that the contract had been cancelled nationwide.

The spokesman criticized the aid group in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for Rohingya.

He also accused it of misleading the world about the attack last month in remote northern Rakhine, cut off to almost all foreigners, including journalists and aid workers. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have died, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Ye Htut was quoted by the independent media outlet, the Democratic Voice of Burma, as saying that Doctors Without Borders claimed it had treated victims with gunshot and slash wounds. But he questioned that, saying the group refused to arrange a meeting between the government and the patients.

“We see that their activities, instead of offering assistance in the region, are fuelling tensions and are detrimental to the rule of law,” he said.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, deep-seated ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state and several other regions, killing up to 280 people and forcing tens of thousands more to flee their homes. Most of the victims have been Rohingya, chased down by Buddhist-led mobs. The United States and others are worried that democratic reforms made in the last three years are being rolled back.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has provided care in northern Rakhine, home to more than 1 million Rohingya, and they are also present in more than a dozen camps for the displaced people elsewhere in the state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from Rakhine Buddhists, Doctors Without Borders has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning group said it was unable to provide primary health care to those displaced by the ongoing crisis and in isolated villages and that no other organization operates in the area on the same scale, including providing emergency treatment along with assistance for pregnant women and newborn babies.

Former Maine congressman Tom Andrews, who visited camps in Rakhine state this week, called the government’s decision “outrageous.”

He said the aid group has been “found guilty of telling the truth about attacks against the Rohingya last month. For this, the lives of tens of thousands of desperate people have been put at risk.”

Since 1992, Doctors Without Borders has filled a gap in Myanmar’s neglected and woefully underfunded health sector where tuberculosis is at nearly triple the global rate as multi-drug resistant forms of the disease surge. It remains one of the hardest places in the world to access HIV drugs, which are given to only the sickest people. It was unclear how patients barred from the group’s clinics would continue receiving medicine.

Many of the country’s 1.3 million Rohingya – identified by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world – have been living in the country for generations, but the government insists they are here illegally. Almost all have been denied citizenship, rendering them stateless. Systematic and discriminatory policies limit their freedom of movement, access to health care, right to worship and have children.

Associated Press writer Robin McDowell contributed to this report.

Follow Margie Mason on Twitter: twitter.com/MargieMasonAP

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders has been kicked out of Myanmar after two decades of caring for sick people in one of the world’s poorest countries, in a decision the group said Friday risks tens of thousands of lives.

The government defended its decision, accusing the group of creating tensions and instability in violence-scarred Rakhine state, where it has faced repeated protests for treating members of the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the group said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As one of the nation’s biggest providers of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group said it was “deeply shocked by this unilateral decision.” It also gives life-saving medicine to 3,000 tuberculosis patients. Even small treatment disruptions can lead to drug-resistant strains that are more difficult and expensive to fight.

A confidential document dated Feb. 26 said Myanmar’s presidential office ordered Doctors Without Borders registration “to be cancelled.” Presidential spokesman Ye Htut told 7 Day daily on Friday that the contract had been cancelled nationwide.

The spokesman criticized the aid group in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for Rohingya.

He also accused it of misleading the world about the attack last month in remote northern Rakhine, cut off to almost all foreigners, including journalists and aid workers. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have died, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Ye Htut was quoted by the independent media outlet, the Democratic Voice of Burma, as saying that Doctors Without Borders claimed it had treated victims with gunshot and slash wounds. But he questioned that, saying the group refused to arrange a meeting between the government and the patients.

“We see that their activities, instead of offering assistance in the region, are fuelling tensions and are detrimental to the rule of law,” he said.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, deep-seated ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state and several other regions, killing up to 280 people and forcing tens of thousands more to flee their homes. Most of the victims have been Rohingya, chased down by Buddhist-led mobs. The United States and others are worried that democratic reforms made in the last three years are being rolled back.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has provided care in northern Rakhine, home to more than 1 million Rohingya, and they are also present in more than a dozen camps for the displaced people elsewhere in the state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from Rakhine Buddhists, Doctors Without Borders has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning group said it was unable to provide primary health care to those displaced by the ongoing crisis and in isolated villages and that no other organization operates in the area on the same scale, including providing emergency treatment along with assistance for pregnant women and newborn babies.

Former Maine congressman Tom Andrews, who visited camps in Rakhine state this week, called the government’s decision “outrageous.”

He said the aid group has been “found guilty of telling the truth about attacks against the Rohingya last month. For this, the lives of tens of thousands of desperate people have been put at risk.”

Since 1992, Doctors Without Borders has filled a gap in Myanmar’s neglected and woefully underfunded health sector where tuberculosis is at nearly triple the global rate as multi-drug resistant forms of the disease surge. It remains one of the hardest places in the world to access HIV drugs, which are given to only the sickest people. It was unclear how patients barred from the group’s clinics would continue receiving medicine.

Many of the country’s 1.3 million Rohingya – identified by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world – have been living in the country for generations, but the government insists they are here illegally. Almost all have been denied citizenship, rendering them stateless. Systematic and discriminatory policies limit their freedom of movement, access to health care, right to worship and have children.

Associated Press writer Robin McDowell contributed to this report.

Follow Margie Mason on Twitter: twitter.com/MargieMasonAP

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders has been kicked out of Myanmar after two decades of caring for sick people in one of the world’s poorest countries, in a decision the group said Friday risks tens of thousands of lives.

The government defended its decision, accusing the group of creating tensions and instability in violence-scarred Rakhine state, where it has faced repeated protests for treating members of the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the group said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As one of the nation’s biggest providers of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group said it was “deeply shocked by this unilateral decision.” It also gives life-saving medicine to 3,000 tuberculosis patients. Even small treatment disruptions can lead to drug-resistant strains that are more difficult and expensive to fight.

A confidential document dated Feb. 26 said Myanmar’s presidential office ordered Doctors Without Borders registration “to be cancelled.” Presidential spokesman Ye Htut told 7 Day daily on Friday that the contract had been cancelled nationwide.

The spokesman criticized the aid group in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for Rohingya.

He also accused it of misleading the world about the attack last month in remote northern Rakhine, cut off to almost all foreigners, including journalists and aid workers. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have died, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Ye Htut was quoted by the independent media outlet, the Democratic Voice of Burma, as saying that Doctors Without Borders claimed it had treated victims with gunshot and slash wounds. But he questioned that, saying the group refused to arrange a meeting between the government and the patients.

“We see that their activities, instead of offering assistance in the region, are fuelling tensions and are detrimental to the rule of law,” he said.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, deep-seated ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state and several other regions, killing up to 280 people and forcing tens of thousands more to flee their homes. Most of the victims have been Rohingya, chased down by Buddhist-led mobs. The United States and others are worried that democratic reforms made in the last three years are being rolled back.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has provided care in northern Rakhine, home to more than 1 million Rohingya, and they are also present in more than a dozen camps for the displaced people elsewhere in the state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from Rakhine Buddhists, Doctors Without Borders has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning group said it was unable to provide primary health care to those displaced by the ongoing crisis and in isolated villages and that no other organization operates in the area on the same scale, including providing emergency treatment along with assistance for pregnant women and newborn babies.

Former Maine congressman Tom Andrews, who visited camps in Rakhine state this week, called the government’s decision “outrageous.”

He said the aid group has been “found guilty of telling the truth about attacks against the Rohingya last month. For this, the lives of tens of thousands of desperate people have been put at risk.”

Since 1992, Doctors Without Borders has filled a gap in Myanmar’s neglected and woefully underfunded health sector where tuberculosis is at nearly triple the global rate as multi-drug resistant forms of the disease surge. It remains one of the hardest places in the world to access HIV drugs, which are given to only the sickest people. It was unclear how patients barred from the group’s clinics would continue receiving medicine.

Many of the country’s 1.3 million Rohingya – identified by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world – have been living in the country for generations, but the government insists they are here illegally. Almost all have been denied citizenship, rendering them stateless. Systematic and discriminatory policies limit their freedom of movement, access to health care, right to worship and have children.

Associated Press writer Robin McDowell contributed to this report.

Follow Margie Mason on Twitter: twitter.com/MargieMasonAP

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders has been kicked out of Myanmar after two decades of caring for sick people in one of the world’s poorest countries, in a decision the group said Friday risks tens of thousands of lives.

The government defended its decision, accusing the group of creating tensions and instability in violence-scarred Rakhine state, where it has faced repeated protests for treating members of the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the group said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As one of the nation’s biggest providers of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group said it was “deeply shocked by this unilateral decision.” It also gives life-saving medicine to 3,000 tuberculosis patients. Even small treatment disruptions can lead to drug-resistant strains that are more difficult and expensive to fight.

A confidential document dated Feb. 26 said Myanmar’s presidential office ordered Doctors Without Borders registration “to be cancelled.” Presidential spokesman Ye Htut told 7 Day daily on Friday that the contract had been cancelled nationwide.

The spokesman criticized the aid group in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for Rohingya.

He also accused it of misleading the world about the attack last month in remote northern Rakhine, cut off to almost all foreigners, including journalists and aid workers. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have died, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Ye Htut was quoted by the independent media outlet, the Democratic Voice of Burma, as saying that Doctors Without Borders claimed it had treated victims with gunshot and slash wounds. But he questioned that, saying the group refused to arrange a meeting between the government and the patients.

“We see that their activities, instead of offering assistance in the region, are fuelling tensions and are detrimental to the rule of law,” he said.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, deep-seated ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state and several other regions, killing up to 280 people and forcing tens of thousands more to flee their homes. Most of the victims have been Rohingya, chased down by Buddhist-led mobs. The United States and others are worried that democratic reforms made in the last three years are being rolled back.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has provided care in northern Rakhine, home to more than 1 million Rohingya, and they are also present in more than a dozen camps for the displaced people elsewhere in the state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from Rakhine Buddhists, Doctors Without Borders has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning group said it was unable to provide primary health care to those displaced by the ongoing crisis and in isolated villages and that no other organization operates in the area on the same scale, including providing emergency treatment along with assistance for pregnant women and newborn babies.

Former Maine congressman Tom Andrews, who visited camps in Rakhine state this week, called the government’s decision “outrageous.”

He said the aid group has been “found guilty of telling the truth about attacks against the Rohingya last month. For this, the lives of tens of thousands of desperate people have been put at risk.”

Since 1992, Doctors Without Borders has filled a gap in Myanmar’s neglected and woefully underfunded health sector where tuberculosis is at nearly triple the global rate as multi-drug resistant forms of the disease surge. It remains one of the hardest places in the world to access HIV drugs, which are given to only the sickest people. It was unclear how patients barred from the group’s clinics would continue receiving medicine.

Many of the country’s 1.3 million Rohingya – identified by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world – have been living in the country for generations, but the government insists they are here illegally. Almost all have been denied citizenship, rendering them stateless. Systematic and discriminatory policies limit their freedom of movement, access to health care, right to worship and have children.

Associated Press writer Robin McDowell contributed to this report.

Follow Margie Mason on Twitter: twitter.com/MargieMasonAP

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the group said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for Rohingya, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was “deeply shocked” by Myanmar’s decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

“Today for the first time in MSF’s history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed,” the group said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

As Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, supplying treatment to 30,000 people, the group described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman Ye Htut had criticized Doctors Without Borders in the Myanmar Freedom newspaper for hiring “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for Rohingya, and lacked transparency in its work.

He also accused the group of misleading the world about an attack last month in the remote northern part of Rakhine. The United Nations says more than 40 Rohingya may have been killed, but the government has vehemently denied allegations that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a village, killing women and children. It says one policeman was killed by Rohingya and no other violence occurred.

Doctors Without Borders said it treated 22 injured and traumatized Rohingya.

Repeated attempts to reach Ye Htut for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Since then, ethnic tensions have swept Rakhine state, raising concerns from the United States and others that the bloodshed could undermine democratic reforms. Up to 280 people have been killed and tens of thousands more have fled their homes, most of them Rohingya.

Since the violence erupted in June 2012, Doctors Without Borders has worked in 15 camps for the displaced people in Rakhine state. For many of the sickest patients, the organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because traveling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run hospitals can be dangerous and expensive. The aid group has worked to help smooth the referral process for emergency transport from some camps.

Due to increasing threats and intimidation from a group of Rakhine Buddhists who have been holding near daily protests against Doctors Without Borders, the organization has said its activities have been severely hampered and that it has not received enough government support.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders says it has been expelled from Myanmar and the decision leaves tens of thousands of lives at risk.

The move is linked to the humanitarian group’s work with the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim population in the state of Rakhine.

The group said in a statement late Friday it is “deeply shocked” by the decision.

Doctors Without Borders says HIV and tuberculosis clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as the main city of Yangon, were closed Friday, denying patients life-saving medicines.

The group is Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, treating 30,000 people, and it described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar criticized the group over its handling of patients following an attack in the remote northern part of the state last month.

Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

KDWN

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders says it has been expelled from Myanmar and the decision leaves tens of thousands of lives at risk.

The move is linked to the humanitarian group’s work with the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim population in the state of Rakhine.

The group said in a statement late Friday it is “deeply shocked” by the decision.

Doctors Without Borders says HIV and tuberculosis clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as the main city of Yangon, were closed Friday, denying patients life-saving medicines.

The group is Myanmar’s main provider of HIV drugs, treating 30,000 people, and it described the impact as devastating.

Myanmar criticized the group over its handling of patients following an attack in the remote northern part of the state last month.