A “campaign of genocide” is happening “on the watch” of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, Sayeed Warsi has warned.
Former Tory Party chairwoman Warsi also savaged the muted response of Boris Johnson to the unfolding crisis in Myanmar, telling him: “how we respond to such brutality defines our values”.
The persecution of the Rohinga Muslim minority has seen 400 killed and at least 87,000 refugees flee to neighbouring Bangladesh.
According to satellite photos from Human Rights Watch, tens of thousands of refugees are also trapped on the Myanmar-Bangladesh border without basic food and medicine amid operations by the Myanmar military.
Nobel prize winner Suu Kyi, the country’s de-facto leader, now faces growing anger over her failure to intervene, including from her fellow peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry.
In a statement on Saturday, Johnson praised Suu Kyi as “one of the most inspiring figures of our age” but said the violence was “alas besmirching the reputation of Burma (Myanmar)”.
Warsi, a Muslim member of the House of Lords, tweeted: “A campaign of genocide is happening now on the watch of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and this is @foreignoffice response?
“When brutal regimes murder their own citizens - how we respond to such brutality defines our values and who we are @foreignoffice.”
Emily Thornberry MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary, said once violence has ceased, “the work of building a lasting peace must begin”, before adding the Suu Kyi and the military must start “living up to their responsibilities within a modern democratic government”.
She said: “As a long-standing, critical friend, we should expect and demand nothing less.”
Yousafzai called on Suu Kyi to condemn the “tragic and shameful” events.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner, 20, told her fellow laureate that the “world is waiting” for her to act.
Calling for an end to the violence, Malala Yousafzai said she had been left heartbroken by reports of young children being killed by security forces and urged the Burmese government to grant the group citizenship.
She wrote: “Over the last several years, I have repeatedly condemned this tragic and shameful treatment.
“I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same.
“The world is waiting and the Rohingya Muslims are waiting.”
Almost 400 people have died in the recent unrest, with the Burmese military accused of committing crimes against humanity by campaigners.
Yousafzai wrote: “Stop the violence. Today we have seen pictures of small children killed by Myanmar’s security forces. These children attacked no-one, but still their homes were burned to the ground.
“If their home is not Myanmar, where they have lived for generations, then where is it? Rohingya people should be given citizenship in Myanmar, the country where they were born.”
On Saturday, Johnson sent a message to Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her pro-democracy activism, to use “all her remarkable qualities” to end the violence.
He said: “[Suu Kyi] faces huge challenges in modernising her country. I hope she can now use all her remarkable qualities to unite her country, to stop the violence and to end the prejudice that afflicts both Muslims and other communities in Rakhine.
“It is vital that she receives the support of the Burmese military, and that her attempts at peacemaking are not frustrated. She and all in Burma will have our full support in this.”
The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim ethnic minority. Many of those who have fled describe troops and Rakhine Buddhist mobs burning their villages and attacking civilians.
The military says it is fighting a campaign against Rohingya militants who are attacking civilians but there has been no independent verification of this.