Myanmar’s Suu Kyi now benefits from Southeast Asia’s silence

It's unclear whether the Rohingya crisis will be on ASEAN's official agenda, although Malaysia and Indonesia are likely to bring it up in talks on the meeting's sidelines

By: AP | Yangon | Published:November 13, 2017 7:22 am
Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, Southeast Asia, ASEAN Summit, Manila ASEAN Summit, Rohingya Crisis, Rohingya Muslims, World News, Latest World News, Indian Express, Indian Express News FILE – November 11, 2017, file photo, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at Clark International Airport, north of Manila, Philippines to attend the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Manila. When Suu Kyi led the fight for democracy against Myanmar’s despotic military rulers two decades ago, she bristled at the collective reluctance of Southeast Asian governments to intervene in her nation’s plight.  (AP)

When Aung San Suu Kyi led the fight for democracy against Myanmar’s military rulers two decades ago, she bristled at the reluctance of Southeast Asian governments to intervene in her nation’s plight. Today, Suu Kyi leads Myanmar. And when she attends the ASEAN summit in Manila on Monday, she’s likely to be counting on the bloc to keep silent amid international criticism of her government’s role in the exodus of more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar to Bangladesh, a situation the UN has called “textbook ethnic cleansing.”

It’s unclear whether the crisis will be on ASEAN’s official agenda, although Malaysia and Indonesia are likely to bring it up in talks on the meeting’s sidelines. Bangladesh is not part of ASEAN. Either way, there’s little expectation much will be done.

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