Myanmar Rohingya refugees call for Suu Kyi's help

Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar living in refugee camps in Bangladesh called on Wednesday for democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi to speak up for them and help end their persecution.

Bangladesh, which shares a 200-kilometre (125-mile) border with Myanmar, is home to an estimated 300,000 Rohingya refugees, about a tenth of whom live in squalid conditions in UN-assisted camps.

Around 25 people have been killed and a further 41 wounded in five days of unrest between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar's Rakhine state, a Myanmar official told AFP on Tuesday.

"Our appeal is to the UN, foreign nations, the Myanmar government and especially to Suu Kyi," Mohammad Islam, leader of Rohingya refugees living in Nayapara camp in the Bangladesh border town of Teknaf, told AFP.

"Aung San Suu Kyi hasn't done or said anything for us, yet the Rohingyas including my parents campaigned for her in the 1990 elections. Like most other Burmese people, she is silent about the rights of Rohingya," he added.

In her first visit outside Myanmar in 24 years, Suu Kyi last month met thousands of Myanmar refugees now living in a Thai border camp. She promised to try as much as she could to help them return home, vowing not to forget them.

Islam said that while she had highlighted the plight of other Myanmar refugees, mostly Karen people, there had been no words of hope for the Rohingya.

"We heard the relations between the government and Suu Kyi have mended and there are now reforms sweeping the country. But for Rohingya, these changes mean nothing," Islam said.

Speaking a Bengali dialect similar to one in southeast Bangladesh, the Rohingya have long been treated as "foreign" by the Myanmar government and many Burmese, a situation activists say has fostered rifts with Rakhine's Buddhists.

Islam said that reports were filtering into the camps of new clashes targeting Rohingya people in Rakhine state.

He said that Buddhists and Myanmar security forces had besieged a mosque in Maidanpara village south of the town of Maungdaw.

"Many people were killed," he said.

In Sittwe, he claimed people had been confined to a cinema hall which was then set ablaze.

"It is all part of a masterplan to eliminate Rohingya from Myanmar. Security forces have joined hands with Rakhines in the slaughter," he said.

The allegations could not be independently verified by AFP.

Suu Kyi left Myanmar on Wednesday on her first trip to Europe since 1988 to formally accept the Nobel Peace Prize that thrust her into the global limelight two decades ago.

"I would like to do my best for the interests of the people," Suu Kyi told reporters before her plane left Yangon airport.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Indonesia informs drug convicts of execution
    Indonesia informs drug convicts of execution

    Indonesia said Saturday it had officially notified eight foreign drug convicts that they will be executed, prompting an appeal from United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon to spare the prisoners and suspend the death penalty. A Frenchman also on death row for drug-related crimes was granted a temporary reprieve after Paris stepped up pressure on Jakarta. The eight -- from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and the Philippines -- have been transported to the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan where …

  • UN chief urges Indonesia to spare drug convicts from execution
    UN chief urges Indonesia to spare drug convicts from execution

    United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon appealed to Indonesia on Saturday to spare from impending execution a group of 10 death-row drug convicts, most of them foreigners. "The Secretary General appeals to the government of Indonesia to refrain from carrying out the execution, as announced, of 10 prisoners on death row for alleged drug-related crimes," a spokesman for Ban said. Earlier Saturday, Indonesia said it had officially notified eight foreign nationals convicted of drug crimes -- from …

  • AFP monitoring deployment of Chinese seaplanes in Spratlys
    AFP monitoring deployment of Chinese seaplanes in Spratlys

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is adopting a wait and see approach amid reports that China will soon deploy seaplanes to further strengthen its maritime claims in the disputed Spratlys. Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala, spokesman for the military and commander of the AFP Civil Relations Service, said they have yet to ascertain the real purpose behind China’s continuing aggressive moves in the region. “We will wait and see before coming up with an official stand,” Kakilala said when …

  • US eyes access to Phl bases in 8 locations
    US eyes access to Phl bases in 8 locations

    The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington’s next phase in its Asia “pivot,” deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia “pivot” has already seen US Marines rotating through the …

  • Washington bucks China’s aggressive actions
    Washington bucks China’s aggressive actions

    Short of condemning China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea, a senior US military official said Washington does not support any act of coercion and bullying. “We don’t stand for coercion, bullying and aggressiveness,” said Brig. Gen. Christopher Mahoney, assistant US military director for  Phl-US Joint Balikatan Exercises 2015. At the sidelines of this year’s joint military exercises’ static aircraft display held at Clark Air Base in Pampanga, Mahoney told a media briefing that …

  • ‘Giving Bangsamoro police control is constitutional’
    ‘Giving Bangsamoro police control is constitutional’

    The proposed grant to the chief minister of the envisioned Bangsamoro region of operational control over police forces in the area is consistent with the Constitution, a senior administration lawmaker said yesterday. Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of Dasmariñas City in Cavite made the statement to allay the fears of his colleagues that the proposal, contained in the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), would violate the Charter. It is clear in the proposed BBL that the Bangsamoro police will be part …

  • Noy off to KL for Asean meet
    Noy off to KL for Asean meet

    President Aquino will arrive here this afternoon with Manila hopeful of support from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to achieve peace and stability in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) as well as economic prosperity and inclusive growth among the people in the region. Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Jose Eduardo Malaya III said that with respect to the dramatic developments in the South China Sea, Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman had called for the early …

  • Madrid Fusion Manila reignites Pinoy appetite for great food
    Madrid Fusion Manila reignites Pinoy appetite for great food

    After months of preparation and hard work from both the government and private sectors, the future of food is finally here in the country’s capital. Madrid Fusión Manila opened its doors on Friday to an international delegation who eagerly awaited the discussions of some of the most renowned and revered names in the culinary world. Madrid Fusión Manila is a historic gastronomic event marked by talks and exhibitions that showcases Spain and the Philippines’ shared cultural heritage, as well as …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options