Dhaka/Jakarta: Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai urged fellow Nobel laurate Aung San Suu Kyi to do something as Muslim anger is growing in Asia as there seems to be no let up in violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim refugees.
"Every time I see the news, my heart breaks at the suffering of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar," Pakistani activist Yousafzai, who famously survived being shot in the head by the Taliban, said in a statement on Twitter.
"Over the last several years I have repeatedly condemned this tragic and shameful treatment. I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same," she added.
On Saturday, up to 100 people under the banner of the Society of Professionals for Rohingya Humanity staged a rally in front of Myanmar’s Embassy in Jakarta, urging member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to end the “genocide” of the Rohingya ethnic group.
They demanded Suu Kyi put more effort into ending the violence.
Otherwise she “doesn’t deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, and we demand that it be revoked,” Said Reza, a spokesman for a communication forum for mosque youth groups in Indonesia, told Arab News at the rally.
AFP reported that a petrol bomb was thrown at the embassy. No one was injured in the incident.
Nearly 90,000 Rohingya have flooded into Bangladesh in the past 10 days following an uptick in fighting between militants and Myanmar's military in strife-torn western Rakhine state.
Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi is a “partner in crime” with the army against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state, Salah Abdulshkoor Alarakani, director of the Rohingya Media Center, told Arab News on Sunday.
“She has put her vested interests above the interests of humanity. A Nobel Peace Prize winner is watching massacres and atrocities against Rohingya Muslims, and she is silent,” he said, adding that “hundreds of thousands” have fled.
“The campaign led by the Myanmar army is horrific, and the volume of displacement is beyond imagination,” Alarakani said.
“Our message to the world is that this peaceful minority is being annihilated. There’s genocide going on against the Rohingya. The UN hasn’t been as effective as we’d hoped.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier accused Myanmar of “genocide” against the Rohingya Muslim minority.
“There is a genocide there,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul. “Those who close their eyes to this genocide perpetuated under the cover of democracy are its collaborators.”
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has sent his foreign minister to Myanmar to urge its government to halt violence, he said. “Earlier this afternoon, the foreign minister has departed to Myanmar to ask the Myanmar government to stop and prevent violence, to provide protection to all citizens, including Muslims in Myanmar, and to give access to humanitarian aid,” Widodo said.
Meanwhile, a few meters from the rally, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Vice Foreign Minister A.M. Fachir met with representatives of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), Muhammadiyah, the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the Islamic Students Alumni Association and the Islamic Students Association.
Muhyiddin Junaidi, head of the MUI’s international relations department, said they conveyed to Marsudi and Fachir the concerns of the Indonesian people over the Rohingya issue, and urged the government to take firmer action against Myanmar.
Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization, on Thursday, demanded that the government reconsider its silent diplomacy with Myanmar because it had not ended Rohingya suffering.
Recounting the horror of Myanmar Army’s attack, Abdur Rahman, a 46-year-old Rohingya who fled Chikon Jhuria village in Rakhine to Bangladesh, said: “I can’t believe I’m still alive.”
“The army suddenly attacked our village at around 9 a.m. The whole village was burned down. Me, my wife and our 4-year-old boy took shelter in the adjacent jungle. My mother and two uncles were shot dead by the army.”
Three boats carrying the refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar capsized in Bangladesh and 26 bodies of women and children have been recovered, officials said. Bangladesh border guard commander Lt. Col. S.M. Ariful Islam said at least three boats carrying an unknown number of Rohingya sank in the Naf River at Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday.