Asean MPs urge Myanmar to protect Muslim minority

Nay Pyi Taw, July 4 (IANS) Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) urged the Myanmar government to end discrimination against the Muslim minority in Myanmar.

The call comes after repeated incidents that targeted the country’s Muslim minority population, including an anti-Muslim protest by thousands of Buddhists and monks, in Rakhine state on Sunday, EFE news reported.

“The government, led by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, has been telling the international community to ‘just trust us’ to handle the situation in Rakhine state and address discrimination against Rohingya and other Muslim communities,” APHR Chairperson Charles Santiago said in a statement.

“Events like these prove they must do much more to earn that trust,” he added.

On June 23, another mosque was burnt by a Buddhist mob, which also ransacked a Muslim cemetery in Waw, located in the Bago region and 262 km (163 miles) from Naypyidaw.

On July 1, a Buddhist mob burnt a mosque in Hpakant, in the state of Kachin.

Violence against the Muslim minority in Myanmar had broken out in 2012, following the rape and murder of a Buddhist nun by three Muslims.

Since then, more than 200 people have died and around 150,000 Muslims — most of them ethnic minority Rohingyas who are not recognised as citizens by the state — remain in camps for the displaced in Rakhine, in precarious conditions.

–IANS

ksk/vt

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