Malaysia to state ‘strong’ position on Rohingya at Asean meeting

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman says Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has promised to brief the foreign ministers in the region on the developments in the Rakhine state in Myanmar. — Reuters pic
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman says Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has promised to brief the foreign ministers in the region on the developments in the Rakhine state in Myanmar. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 — Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said today that he will be expressing Malaysia’s condemnation of the violence in Rakhine at the Asean Foreign Ministers’ retreat in Myanmar on Monday.

He said Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has promised to brief the foreign ministers in the region on the developments in the Rakhine state in Myanmar, where a crackdown by the authorities there has seen reports of violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority, like killings, rapes and houses being burned.

“This 19 December meeting will give me the opportunity to unequivocally state Malaysia’s strong position on this issue,” Anifah said in a statement.

“I fully expect to be able to seize this opening to highlight the fact that Malaysia has consistently condemned the escalation of violence in the Northern Rakhine State since the outbreak on 9 October 2016.

“The loss of innocent lives and the displacement of people is unacceptable, and Malaysia will further call on all parties involved to refrain from taking any actions that would aggravate the situation further,” he added.

He said Malaysia was “fully cognisant” of Asean’s non-interference principle, but pointed out that Malaysia also believed that Asean member states were bound by international principles on human rights.

“Malaysia stands ready to assist Myanmar in finding a just, expeditious and durable solution to the protracted issue in the Rakhine State,” he said.

International newswire Reuters reported yesterday the United Nations human rights office as saying that the UN was getting daily reports of rapes and killings of the Rohingya in Myanmar and that independent monitors were barred from investigating.

State media reportedly said at least 86 people have been killed and the UN estimated that 27,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh across the border from the Rakhine state.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak attended a recent rally to condemn the violence against the largely stateless Rohingya community.

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