» 11/08/2012, 00.00
Aung San Suu Kyi calls for more troops to quell violence between Burmese and Rohingya
Francis Khoo Thwe
The Nobel Prize winner wants a greater military presence in order to restore peace in Rakhine state. However, both government and opposition have failed to find a political solution to the crisis. Business interests appear to be behind the sectarian violence. Another boat carrying refugees sinks.
(AsiaNews) - Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic minority
lawmakers have appealed to the government to send troops to restore peace in
the western state of Rakhine torn by sectarian violence between majority Buddhists
and minority Rohingya Muslims. Stung by criticism for not speaking up on behalf
of the abused and marginalised minority, the Nobel Prize laureate has called
for an end to the violence, which has killed so far 180 people and displaced another
110,000, and for more security forces to restore "peace, stability and the
rule of law." Meanwhile, another boat carrying Rohingya refugees sank in
the Bay of Bengal. Also, economic interests increasingly appear to play a role
in the violence.
In a rare
statement on the crisis, the leader of the National League for Democracy said
that the government had a duty to inform public opinion about how it was going
to handle the issue.
For Myanmar, the
Rohingya are illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. The latter
however refuses to recognise them as its citizens, whilst Burmese authorities
dare not go against public opinion on the matter. To the disappointment of the
international community, the country's opposition has also failed to come up
with a peaceful solution to the crisis.
The net result
is that the 800,000 stateless Rohingya are one of the most persecuted
minorities on the planet according to the United Nations. So far, no consensus has
emerged on what to do with them, whether to provide them with papers that would
legalise their presence on Burmese territory or allow them to become "naturalised
citizens." In either case, their status would carry fewer rights than full
Meanwhile, off the
coast of Bangladesh at Teknaf, some 320 kilometres south of Dhaka, an overcrowded
boat sunk carrying Rohingya seeking peace and work in Malaysia.
The Bangladesh Coast
Guard rescued 51 people, but nothing is known about the others, who are feared
dead like the passengers of another boat that sank on 28 October off the coast
of Myanmar with only a handful of survivors.
crisis is rooted in ethnic differences between majority Buddhists and minority
Rohingya. The latter are commonly referred to as "Bengalis" or by the
pejorative 'Kalar'; they are Muslim, darker in complexion and culturally
different than ethnic Rakhinese.
That is not the
whole picture though. Certain economic interests could be stirring up sectarian
Although one of
the poorest states in the country, Rakhine has untapped natural resources,
including large oil and natural gas reserves, as some sources have pointed out.
have already planned to build a pipeline from the Kyaukphyu Special Economic
Zone (SEZ) to Kunming, in the Chinese province of Yunnan. Two other SEZs exist,
one in Thilawa and the other in Dawie.
06/09/2017 18:42:00 MYANMAR
Members of some Rakhine ethnic groups talk about the violence they suffered. For them, peace with the Rohingya is not possible
The area’s Buddhist and Hindu tribal groups are one tenth of Muslims. Some 25,000 have been displaced and are now in camps set up by the army. Ongoing violence has undermined peaceful coexistence. Fear of possible Islamist infiltrations in the country is widespread. Mizzima News blames the Islamic State for the attacks against military outposts. This is part of an attempt to disrupt Aung San Suu Kyi's peace policy.
06/07/2017 11:06:00 MYANMAR
Sittwe, Buddhists attack Rohingya: one dead man and six injured
The 55-year-old Maung Nu killed. The attack arose from an argument over purchase of a boat. Myanmar considers Rohingya Muslims illegal immigrants from nearby Bangladesh. The worst clashes between Buddhists and Rohingya in Rakhine occurred in 2012. The Church's commitment to the dignity of people and "against all kinds of oppression."
16/11/2016 16:42:00 MYANMAR
As clashes and violence against Rohingya intensify, Card Bo calls for a stop to the war
Since October, Myanmar’s military killed at least 60 Muslims, preventing humanitarian aid and independent observers from entering the combat zone. For archbishop of Yangon, “Myanmar needs only one religion today: peace”.
28/08/2017 18:33:00 MYANMAR
About 116 people die in anti-Rohingya violence, government blames “Bengali terrorists”
On Friday, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) attacked military outposts in the villages of Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung. The violent clashes left 12 members of the security forces and more than a hundred of militants dead. The State Counsellor Office Information Committee told media not to use the word "insurgents". More than 4,000 non-Muslim residents (mainly Buddhists and Hindus) have been evacuated from the area. More than 2,000 Rohingya Muslims managed to reach Bangladesh, which has refused them entry.
06/04/2017 13:37:00 MYANMAR
Aung San Suu Kyi: No ethnic cleansing of Rohingya
Myanmar’s leader has rejected the charge of ethnic cleansing. “[T]here is a lot of hostility there,” she acknowledged. But “this divide we are trying to close up”. To her critics, she said “I’m just a politician. I’m not quite like Margaret Thatcher, no. But on the other hand I’m no Mother Teresa either.”
ISRAEL – PALESTINE
New Vicar of Jerusalem to focus on young people and education, future of peace and hope
Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo stressed the importance of education to ensure the future of new generations. The Church is a sign of "unity" in a context "marked by divisions" and a bridge in interfaith dialogue. The situation has gone from euphoria for peace to resignation over permanent conflict. He appeals to Western Christians to come as pilgrims to the Holy Land.
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