WORLD

Myanmar faces anger from Muslim world over Rohingya plight

MYANMAR FACES ANGER FROM MUSLIM WORLD OVER ROHINGYA PLIGHT

Muslims from all over the world slammed Aung San Suu Kyi and her government due to violence against Rohinya Muslims in Myanmar.

A Nobel laureate and Muslim nations in Asia criticized Myanmar's persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority as hundreds in Indonesia protested against Aung San Suu Kyi and her government for a third day.

At least 87,000 refugees from Myanmar's western Rakhine state have fled to neighboring Bangladesh since violence escalated in late August, according to the United Nations, overwhelming existing camps for the displaced.

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize, said her "heart breaks" at the suffering of Rohingya Muslims and urged Myanmar's leader, a fellow Nobel laureate, to condemn the violence against the Rohingya minority.

"Over the last several years I have repeatedly condemned this tragic and shameful treatment," she said in a statement posted on Twitter. "I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same. The world is waiting and the Rohingya Muslims are waiting."

The latest eruption of violence in Rakhine state has killed more than 400 people and triggered an exodus of Rohingya into Bangladesh. It began after insurgents attacked Myanmar police and paramilitary posts in what they said was an effort to protect their ethnic minority from persecution by security forces in the majority Buddhist country.

In response, Myanmar's military unleashed what it called "clearance operations." Human Rights Watch says satellite imagery shows 700 buildings were burned in the Rohingya Muslim village of Chein Khar Li, just one of 17 locations in Rakhine state where the rights group has documented burning of property.

Myanmar denies citizenship to Rohingya, who have lived in the country for generations, and the group has frequently faced hostility and violence from the Buddhist majority, often fanned by hard-line monks and inflammatory comments from officials.

Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has called for an end to violence in Rakhine state and sent his foreign minister to Myanmar where she with met Monday with Suu Kyi and army commander Min Aung Hlaing.

"Real action is needed, not just statements and condemnations," Jokowi said on Sunday. "This violence and humanitarian crisis must end."

Pakistan's foreign ministry said it is deeply concerned by reports of growing numbers of deaths and the forced displacement of Rohingya Muslims. It urged Myanmar's government to investigate reports of massacres and to hold those involved accountable.

Several hundred Muslim women demonstrated outside Myanmar's embassy in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Monday, calling for the government of the world's most populous Muslim nation to take a tougher stance against persecution of the Rohingya.

Dozens of armed police are guarding the embassy, which is cordoned behind barbed wire, after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at it over the weekend.

Protesters, organized by an Islamic group called Friends of Muslim Rohingya, shouted "Save Rohingya," and held big banners that read, "Unite the people to free Rohingya Muslims" and "Stop Muslim genocide in Myanmar!"

Over the weekend, protesters in Jakarta set fire to a poster of Suu Kyi outside the Myanmar embassy and further protests are set for this week. Local media reported that one group plans to stage a protest at Borobudur, a famous ancient Buddhist temple in central Java.

"The world remains silent in the face of the massacre of Rohingya Muslims," said Farida, an organizer of Monday's protest who uses a single name.

"They have been tortured and killed like animals by Buddhists in Myanmar," she told the crowd outside the embassy. "We demand the government puts pressure on the Buddhist government of Myanmar. We demand mobilization of our military to rescue the Rohingya."

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