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Myanmar Unrest: Indonesian Foreign Minister to meet Aung San Suu Kyi amid protests over Rohingya violence

"We will discuss in detail Indonesia's proposal on how Indonesia can give humanitarian aid to Rakhine state," Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a video statement from the Myanmar city of Yangon.

By: Reuters | Jakarta | Published: September 4, 2017 1:17 pm
Aung San Suu Kyi, Suu Kyi, Myanmar, Myanmar peace process, Myanmar ethnic armed group, Myanmar news, world news Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. (Reuters)

Indonesia’s foreign minister is due to meet Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday to discuss delivering humanitarian aid to members of Myanmar’s Rohingya minority, as Indonesian protesters urged their government to take a tougher line. Dozens of Indonesians protested outside the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta on Monday, calling for a cut in diplomatic ties with Myanmar over violence against its Rohingya Muslim minority.

Aid agencies estimate that about 90,000 Rohingya have fled from Myanmar into neighbouring Bangladesh since violence erupted in the north of Rakhine state last week. “We will discuss in detail Indonesia’s proposal on how Indonesia can give humanitarian aid to Rakhine state,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a video statement from the Myanmar city of Yangon.

She is also scheduled to travel to Bangladesh to urge authorities there to protect fleeing Rohingya refugees. In a sign of mounting public anger in Jakarta, a petrol bomb was thrown at the Myanmar embassy on Sunday, causing a small fire. The protests follow demonstrations in Malaysia and condemnation from world leaders such as President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who on Friday said the violence against Muslims amounted to genocide.

The Rohingya are denied citizenship in Myanmar and regarded as illegal immigrants, despite claiming roots that date back centuries. Bangladesh is also growing increasingly hostile to Rohingya, more than 400,000 of whom live in the poor South Asian country after fleeing Myanmar since the early 1990s. Indonesia is home to the world’s largest population of Muslims. Its government has been actively involved in providing aid for Myanmar to develop Rakhine state and protect the rights of the Rohingya, alongside the majority Buddhist community.

Ifah Rohma, an activist from a Jakarta-based organisation called Muslim Friends of Rohingya, said many Indonesians as fellow Muslims were concerned about the fate of Rohingya. “Indonesia should not be engaging in soft diplomacy,” Rohma said outside the Myanmar embassy, which was surrounded by heavy security and barbed wire. “Now is the time to cut ties, recall our ambassador and expel their ambassador,” she said. Myanmar says its security forces are fighting a legitimate campaign against “terrorists” responsible for a string of attacks on police posts and the army since last October.

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  1. S
    saleem khan
    Sep 4, 2017 at 3:54 pm
    I'm proud to be born as Muslim.. religion of peace n humanity' REPLY 7
    1. R
      Sep 4, 2017 at 2:51 pm
      Leading Islamic countries including Bangladesh and Pakistan, Saudi Arabia … are training and arming Rohingya to with sophisticated weapons to Myanmar's border posts and Myanmar's villages. Myanmar is militarily and economically a weak state Muslim countries with military and economic might are ganging up against Myanmar and at the same posing a threat to India’s geopolitical, economic and strategic interests. India need to support Myanmar economically, militarily and politically to lift Myanmar to become a functioning democracy equal in status with rest of the democratic world.
      1. R
        Sep 4, 2017 at 2:11 pm
        Muslims can so all atrocities...nobody raises a finger...if at all they are forced to speak owing to some isis type extreme brutality, they will claim that islam only wants peace and some other nonsense...BUT, the moment muslims gets a retaliation, out they come shouting, crying, calling for human rights and what not...WHY? The answer is clear to all, but political correctness will not allow the rest of the civilized world to speak about it...
        1. Shyamal Ganguly
          Sep 4, 2017 at 1:54 pm
          Muslims are problem of the world. Anywhere they are majority - they cute the minority. When they are in the minority - they want separation and privilege.
          1. A
            Sep 4, 2017 at 2:14 pm
            Shyamal Ganguly . Here Muslims are the victims of the cruelty and the Myanmar Budhist soldiers are killing innocent women and kid without any reason. So its a clear sign their aim is to kill poor innocent peoples. So kindly dont talk rubbish without knowing matter well.
            1. B
              Sep 4, 2017 at 2:24 pm
              Mussalmans are demonic.