Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has told Southeast Asian heads of state, including Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, that he’s asked his special envoy to engage in diplomatic efforts to find ways in which Canada can help resolve the Rohingya crisis.
He called today for a “sustainable and just solution” to the ongoing crisis, stressing the importance of recommendations and the final report of the advisory commission headed by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to help chart the path toward a peaceful resolution.
More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighboring Bangladesh since August, when their homes were torched by Buddhist mobs and soldiers.
Although Rohingya Muslims have lived in Myanmar for decades, the country’s Buddhist majority still sees them as invaders from Bangladesh. The UN has called them one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
Trudeau told the ASEAN-Canada summit that his country will continue to support humanitarian and political efforts and will continue to work with Myanmar and Bangladesh to allow for the return of displaced people.
A Philippine official says Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has assured other Southeast Asian nations that her government is implementing the recommendations of a commission led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the situation in Rakhine state, where more than half a million Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighboring Bangladesh.
Philippine presidential spokesman Harry Roque also said Suu Kyi pledged Monday that repatriation of the displaced people would begin within three weeks after Myanmar signed a memorandum of understanding with Bangladesh.
The memorandum was signed on October 24. He said Suu Kyi gave no further details.
Roque said at least two ASEAN leaders brought up the Rohingya issue Monday during a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila.
Roque said Suu Kyi did not refer to the Rohingya by name. Although Rohingya Muslims have lived in Myanmar for decades, the country’s Buddhist majority still sees them as invaders from Bangladesh.
The government denies them basic rights, and the United Nations has called them one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
Since August, when their homes were torched by Buddhist mobs and soldiers, more than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh.