Modi mum on Rohingya persecution during meeting with Suu Kyi

Modesto Morganelli
Settembre 7, 2017

The conflict between Myanmar's Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, widely dismissed in Myanmar as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, erupted in Rakhine state in late August prompting a wave of protests across the world over what has been dubbed the disproportionate use of force by the government.

According to the United Nations statistics, over 400 Muslims have been killed in the past week after the Burmese forces shored up crack-down against Rohingya Muslims who take up around one million of the population.

They have lived as a people in Myanmar for centuries, mostly in the north-western Rakhine state, but are not recognised as citizens in the Buddhist-majority country.

Reuters reporters in the Cox's Bazar region of neighbouring Bangladesh have witnessed boatloads of exhausted Rohingya arriving near the border village of Shamlapur.

An aid worker with an worldwide agency in Bangladesh reports: "What we're seeing is that many Rohingya people are sick".

The continuing violence has fanned criticism of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's de facto leader and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate for her struggle against military rule.

President Erdoğan said he is confident that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, as a leader who has faced and overcome challenges and an advocate of human rights, will approach the situation with a vision of a long-term solution, according to the office.

She blamed "terrorists" for the recent violence and for disseminating misinformation.

However, she broke her silence when she held a telephonic conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He also urged neighboring and Muslim countries to help the displaced people of Myanmar, and voiced the Islamic Republic's readiness to lend a helping hand to the Rohingya.

Suu Kyi was also quoted as saying: "We know very well, more than most, what it means to be deprived of human rights and democratic protection".

During a visit to Myanmar Wednesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Suu Kyi that his country shared her "concerns about extremist violence in Rakhine state and specially the violence against security forces and how innocent lives have been affected". Two government sources in Dhaka told Reuters that this may be to prevent the return of Rohingyas into Myanmar.

Ankara is pressing Bangladesh to give sanctuary to all Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar.

The refugees have also tried to cross the border into Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

"Every time I see the news, my heart breaks at the suffering of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar", she said in a statement.

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