Desmond Tutu Pleads for the Protection of Muslims in Myanmar

Myanmar's Rohingya Crisis Escalates

Myanmar's Rohingya Crisis Escalates

The growing crisis threatens Myanmar's diplomatic relations, particularly with Muslim-majority countries in Southeast Asia, where there is profound public anger over the treatment of the Rohingya. This week another honorary Canadian citizen and Nobel Peace Prize victor, girls' education activist Malala Yousafzai, publicly condemned Aung San Suu Kyi's feeble leadership in protecting the Rohingya.

In an interview at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, where she is a professor in the department of child psychology and education, Lee said it was "highly possible" the government had "underestimated numbers".

Turkey's first lady and foreign minister are visiting Bangladesh to learn why about 164,000 ethnic Rohingya Muslims have fled from neighboring Myanmar in the past two weeks.

"How many Rohingya have to die; how many Rohingya women will be raped; how many communities will be razed before you raise your voice in defence of those who have no voice?" said the letter.

Malaysian news-website malaysiakini.com said Malaysian prime minister Najib Abdul Razak will raise the issue of Myanmar's ethnic Rohingya at his upcoming meeting with United States president Donald Trump.

The Rohingya have always been subjected to discrimination in mostly Buddhist Myanmar, which regards them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and denies them citizenship even if they have lived in the country for generations.

An estimated 125 000 Rohingya Muslims, roughly 4% of Myanmar's population, have been forced to flee to Bangladesh since military operations were launched in the northern parts of Rakhine in the middle of August to find militants who allegedly raided police border posts, AFP reported.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif says the Rohingyas' plight is "a challenge to the conscience" of the world and that Pakistan was committed to providing humanitarian aid to them.

The crisis has drawn the attention of world figures. One senior Al-Qaeda leader in Yemen has called for attacks on Myanmar authorities in support of the Rohingyas. "Malaysia has always been upholding the sanctity of life", he said.

"We will always remain the open and compassionate country we are. We do need to solve this problem at the source".

Suu Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1991, has recently been criticised for her lacklustre response to the ongoing crisis.

The South African activist states: "My dear sister: If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep". The ceasefire would begin on Sunday, the statement said.

"We are unable to reach the 28,000 children to whom we were previously providing psychosocial care or the more than 4,000 children who were treated for malnutrition in Buthidaung and Maungdaw" in Rakhine, he said.

"Of course, our resources are not as complete and adequate as we would like them to be but, still, we try our best and we want to make sure that everyone is entitled to the protection of the law". Now, look, the Rohingya, they're being brutalised.

"Brutal and methodical reprisal by the Burmese military on villages" has been carried out, it says, "with helicopters firing on civilians, razing villages with petrol bombs, and front line troops cutting off families' escape routes".

The US earlier had led global efforts to bring democracy to Myanmar and supported Suu Kyi's rise to power, but the prospects of Washington leading a new pressure campaign appear slim.

"I'm very concerned about some of this worldwide demonization of Daw Suu, which I think is overstated, and I think we need to be supportive", said Derek Mitchell, the former USA ambassador to Myanmar, told VOA's Burmese service.

National security adviser U Thaung Tun said the ARSA attacks had "serious implications not only for the country but the region and beyond".

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