Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
Last updated 7 hours, 8 minutes ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
Muslims must be made to feel secure: Suu Kyi
April 18, 2013
 Print    Send to Friend

TOKYO: Myanmar’s charismatic opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Wednesday that the estrangement of minority Muslims in her country was “a very sad state of affairs” and the community must be made to feel secure.

Sectarian violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar killed 43 people last month. Thousands, mostly Muslims, were driven from their homes and businesses as bloodshed spread across the central region of one of Asia’s most diverse countries.

Suu Kyi, a devout Buddhist, has been mostly reserved in her comments on the violence and the failure of the Nobel Peace Prize-winner to defuse the tension appears to have undermined her image as a unifying moral force.

But in a news conference on a visit to Japan, she said: “I’ve met some Muslim leaders very recently. It is very sad, because none of them has been to any other country apart from Burma (Myanmar). They did not feel that they belonged anywhere and it was sad for them that they were made to feel that they didn’t belong in our country either.

“This is a very sad state of affairs. We must learn to accommodate those with different views from ours.”

She also said the government should review Myanmar’s citizenship laws, although she again failed to directly answer a question on whether she considered the Rohingyas to be citizens.

Around 800,000 Muslim Rohingyas live in Rakhine State in the west but are effectively stateless, denied citizenship both by Myanmar and neighbouring Bangladesh. Many Burmese consider them to be illegal immigrants.

At least 110 people were killed and 120,000 left homeless, mostly Rohingyas, by sectarian violence in Rakhine State in 2012.

“Every country has the responsibility to consider the possibility that the (citizenship) laws are not in keeping with international standards. And this is what the Burmese government should have the courage to do. To face the issue of citizenship fairly,” Suu Kyi told reporters.

Earlier, addressing students at Tokyo University, Suu Kyi said she was “not a magician” and will not be able to solve long-running ethnic disputes.

“I’ve said that the most important thing is to establish the rule of law...(it) is not just about the judiciary, it’s about the administration, it’s about the government, it’s about our police force, it’s about the training that we give to security forces,” said Suu Kyi.   

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Post a comment
Related Stories
‘Distressed’ Rohingya Muslims storm out of camp
BLANG ADOE: More than 200 ethnic Rohingya stormed out of an Indonesian encampment on Tuesday as tensions erupted following alleged rapes and beatings by locals at the sit..
China calls for border stability in Myanmar
BEIJING: China’s Defence Minister has urged Myanmar to maintain stability on their common border as the South-east Asian country prepares for what Beijing hopes will be s..
Myanmar to appoint 40,000 ‘special poll cops’
YANGON: Myanmar authorities will appoint 40,000 ordinary citizens as “special election police” ahead of November’s polls to boost security at polling stations, an officia..
Suu Kyi calls on supporters to vote for ‘real change’
DEMOSO: Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday urged voters to opt for “real change” and back her party in the first general election since the end of mil..
Myanmar president meets ethnic groups for peace talks
NAYPYITAW: Myanmar President Thein Sein on Wednesday made his first public appearance since the start of a campaign for Nov.8 general elections, meeting leaders of ethnic..
Advertise | Copyright