UK calls on Aung San Suu Kyi to curb Rohingya violence

LONDON: The UK government has joined the international community to increase pressure on Myanmar to tackle the violence against Rohingya Muslims, warning that the treatment of the Rohingya is besmirching the reputation of the country.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the attacks were “besmirching the reputation” of the country following reports by a human rights group that people, including young children, have been burned alive in the country, while others have been beheaded.

Johnson said in a statement this week: “Aung San Suu Kyi is rightly regarded as one of the most inspiring figures of our age, but the treatment of the Rohingya is alas besmirching the reputation of Burma.”

“She faces huge challenges in modernising her country. I hope she can now use all her remarkable qualities to unite her country, to stop the violence and to end the prejudice that afflicts both Muslims and other communities in Rakhine.”

Rakhine, the poorest region in Myanmar, is home to more than a million Rohingya. They have faced decades of persecution in the Buddhist-majority country, where they are not considered citizens.

“It is vital that she receives the support of the Burmese military, and that her attempts at peacemaking are not frustrated. She and all in Burma will have our full support in this.”

Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize for her political activism in Myanmar, which led to the first non-military elected head of state in the country since the military coup in 1962.

Although Htin Kyaw was sworn in as President in 2016 – as Suu Kyi is constitutionally barred from holding the position – she is considered the de facto leader of the country.

 

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