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Muslim leaders urge Suu Kyi to end 'disappointing' silence on Myanmar violence

Thursday November 15, 2012 11:53:58 AM, Special Correspondent

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New Delhi: Disappointed by her continuous silence on the plight of Rohingya Muslims and the violence against them, the Indian Muslim leaders Wednesday urged the Mayanmar opposition leader Aung Suu Kyi to take a stand on the issue, failing which, they said, her struggle for restoration of democracy would be incomplete.


"We demand Ms. Kyi to come out of her cocoon and take a stand on the Rohingya issue. Ms. Kyi’s fight for democracy will remain incomplete as long as such a large number of persecuted people live within her own country", the Muslim leaders said in a joint statement.


Suu Kyi is on a six-day visit to India beginning Tuesday. The visit is her first trip to the country, where she studied, after a quarter century. She is visiting India two years after elections in Myanmar that brought a civilian reform-minded regime to power.


In India, she is accorded the treatment of a head of state as a result of her long struggle and suffering for democracy in Mayanmar which also won her a Nobel Peace Prize.


"If Ms. Kyi continues to neglect the plight of the Rohingyas, we will be compelled to draw the conclusion that her fight for democracy is fake and that she is only concerned about the superiority and control of certain groups in Mayanmar", they added.


The statement is signed by Dr.Zafarul-Islam Khan (President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat), Mujtaba Farooq (Convenor, Coordination Committee of Indian Muslims), Muhammad Ahmad (Political Secretary, Jamaat-e Islami Hind), Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji (President, Islahi Movement of India), Dr Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas (Member, Working Committee, Muslim Personal Law Board), Dr Taslim Rahmani (President, Muslim Political Council of India), Prof. M.H. Jawahirullah (Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhgham - TMMK), Lateef Mohd. Khan (Gen Secretary, Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, Hyderabad) and others.


"We are pained to see that Ms. Kyi has disappointed many by her continuous silence and ambivalent attitude towards a section of her compatriots known as “Rohingyas” who mainly live in Rekhine province, formerly known as Akyab", the Muslim leaders said.


"We also appeal to all Indian leaders who will meet Ms. Kyi during this visit to raise this issue with her and to apprise her about the Indian sentiments and the need to do justice to the persecuted Rohingyas", they said. 


The Rohingyas, who are Muslims, have been termed by a UN report as the most persecuted religions community in the world.

Under a highly questionable law passed in 1982 by the Burmese military government, they were summarily deprived of their nationality unless they prove that their forefathers were living in Burma back in 1832, which is a most oppressive law found anywhere in the world.


Since last June, they are being attacked, their villages burnt and they are forced to live in refugee camps in their own country or flee to Bangladesh which already has a large number of Rohingyas who fled earlier during the past few decades due to acute persecution and oppression.


As a result of this exodus, now there are large groups of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia. This is a matter of shame for Mayanmar in general and the for the Nobel laureate crusader for democracy in particular.




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