December 4, 2016 8:37:22 pm
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Sunday criticised the Myanmar government and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi over the “ethnic cleansing” of the minority Rohingya community in its Rakhine state. Addressing a mass rally in solidarity with the ethnic Rohingya community at Titiwangsa Stadium here, Najib signed a giant banner to protest what he called “ethnic cleansing” of the minority muslim race in Rakhine in Myanmar.
Watch what else is making news
He said, Malaysia would continue to pressure its ASEAN counterpart to settle the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.
He also called on Indonesia and its President Joko Widodo to stand with Malaysia against Myanmar on the issue.
Myanmar had warned Najib against attending the rally, saying that doing so would breach ASEAN’s policy of non-intervention with neighbouring countries.
“I don’t care!” declared Najib to the audience, consisting mostly of ruling UMNO party and opposition PAS members.
“Do you expect me, a leader of over 30 million people to close my eyes? To stay silent? I will not! “Someone tell Myanmar that the Asean Charter also protects human rights. They cannot just interpret whatever they like,” he said.
Najib also criticised Suu Kyi, for not meeting with diplomats to discuss the Rohingya crisis.
The prime minister said he had sent Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman to Nay Pyi Taw to meet Suu Kyi, only to be told she was only willing to meet to discuss bilateral affairs, but not the Rohingya. “What’s the point of a Nobel Peace Prize?” he said to a riled-up crowd.
“We want to tell Aung San Suu Kyi enough is enough,” he said.
Myanmar does not recognise the Rohingya as citizens, though some of them have resided in the country for several generations.
Using satellite imagery from Myanmar’s western Rakhine state, rights group Human Rights Watch recently found mass destruction in ethnic Rohingya villages and called for an urgent UN investigation into alleged abuses.
Malaysia has over 56,000 Rohingya and Myanmar refugees registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, with thousands more undocumented.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.