Rohingya refugees wait for food and clothing in Tankhali, Bangladesh, on Friday. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
The washington Post
September 16 at 5:55 PM

IN JUST three weeks, the long-simmering conflict between the Burmese government and the persecuted Rohingya minority has exploded into the most massive and brutal episode of ethnic cleansing the world has seen in years. Since a militant attack on Aug. 25 provided a pretext, Burmese troops have driven hundreds of thousands of Rohingya across the border to Bangladesh by systematically burning scores of villages and terrorizing their residents. Last week, more than 380,000 people were reported to have crossed the frontier; on Friday, U.N. officials said many thousands were still waiting to pass. An estimated 240,000 of the refugees are children, according to UNICEF.

What U.N. Secretary General Antnio Guterres rightly called a textbook example of ethnic cleansing is the culmination of years of discrimination by Burmas government and Buddhist majority against the Ro...