March 24, 2018

Archbishop Desmond Tutu urges Suu Kyi to speak up over Rohingya crisis

10 September 2017, 09:14 | Rufus Hill

Malaysian Writers Call For Witdrawal Of Nobel Prize From Suu Kyi Over Violence Against Rohingya

Myanmar's Rohingya Crisis Escalates

Posted: Sep. 7, 2017 8:00 am Updated: Sep.

Today's government is led by Aung San Suu Kyi, herself a victim of persecution by past military regimes, and victor of the Nobel peace prize for her long vigil for democracy.

"We need to wake up and respond to it - and I hope that Aung Sang Suu Kyi responds to it as well", she said, reiterating her criticism of the leader and fellow Nobel Laureate for turning a blind eye to the violence.

"You symbolised righteousness. If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep".

The armed forces in Myanmar retain powerful positions - and it is hard for Suu Kyi to exercise control over them.

AFP reported that Malaysian premier Najib Razak said on Saturday Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar face systematic violence with "no mercy" shown to them and offered help for the relief effort in Bangladesh.

Singapore's MFA noted that the Rakhine situation "is a complex inter-communal issue with deep historical roots".

The latest round is among the worst so far, and on Friday, the United Nations described the refugee camps in Bangladesh as overflowing as more people flooded in.

"I think it is a little unreasonable to expect us to resolve everything in 18 months", she added.

The report adds: The statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) came as thousands of Muslims in various Asian cities protested against the unfolding violence afflicting the Rohingya community. Additionally, over 120 000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh.

Suu Kyi, feted for her years of peaceful opposition to Myanmar's military rulers, has been urged to speak up for the Rohingya, with Muslim nations and the UN leading condemnation of her government.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was crucial that Burma's government immediately give Rohingya either nationality or legal status so they can lead normal lives and freely move, find jobs, and get an education.

The Rohingya are a minority group largely based in Rakhine.

The museum says it implores Suu Kyi to use her position in government and her "even more powerful voice to uphold those very ideals and work to stop the longstanding persecution and violence that threaten the very existence of Rohingya in Myanmar". That intensifies doubts about government claims that members of the persecuted minority have been destroying their own homes.

An ethnic Rakhine villager who emerged from the smoke said police and Rakhine Buddhists had set the fires.

Reporters saw no Rohingya in that village or others that they were allowed to see Thursday.

It was Khaled Batarfi, who urged Muslims in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Malaysia to raise arms in support of their Rohingya Islamic brethren and go to war against what he says are the enemies of Allah.

The U.S. Embassy in Yangon is discussing the situation with civilian and military authorities, and calling for an end to violence and access for humanitarian groups and journalists, the State Department said.

The ministry issued a statement containing his opening remarks at a conference of Pakistani diplomats on Thursday.

The Myanmar government, led by Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, has rejected the accusations of atrocities against the Rohingya community, who are denied citizenship despite living in the Buddhist majority country for generations.

The army, nevertheless, has justified its "clearance operation" in the region, saying "terrorists" among the ethnic Muslim population allegedly attacking non-Muslims are being rooted out, according to The Guardian UK.

The violence began with insurgent attacks on police August 25 and government forces retaliated with what they called "clearance operations".

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