Myanmar's solution to ethnic clashes is chilling: HRW

Myanmar's solution to ethnic clashes is chilling: HRW

Myanmar's solution to ethnic clashes is chilling: HRW

Updated 30 April 2013, 20:03 AEST

Plans to control the birth rate of Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar has been described as "chilling".

A Myanmar Government Commission report has recommended a family planning program be implemented to curb the growth of the country's Muslim Rohingyas.

The region has been plagued by ethnic clashes between the Buddhist majority and Muslim minority.

Fighting over the past year has left hundreds dead and tens of thousands homeless.

The commission has found that high Rohingya birth rates have been a factor in the tensions.

It also recommends sending more troops into troubled regions to quell the violence.

But Human Rights Watch says the recommendations are disturbing and will only increase tensions.

HRW's deputy Asia director Phil Robertson says government troops are guilty of stoking the flames of racial hatred in the fledgling democracy.

"Human Rights Watch released a report last week documenting that security forces had been involved in ethnic cleansing against humanity and crimes against humanity, against the Rohingya in Arakan State," he said.

Mr Robertson believes the idea of population control has insidious undertones.

"When you talk about one ethnic group trying to limit the population growth of another ethnic group. Even though it's voluntary, nevertheless, it is very chilling."

Rohingya leaders also say they weren't consulted by the commission and their views aren't represented in the report.

The commission report also recommends that Muslim Rohingya be segregated from Buddhists, but it acknowledges that is not a permanent solution to the problem.

There are reportedly 800,000 Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar but the government regards them as illegal immigrants.