NAYPIDAW: Today, the Rafto Foundation and The Norwegian Burma Committee met with Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar and called on her to acknowledge the human rights violations against the Rohingya.
6 December 2017
Photo: Ministry of Foregin Affairs, Myanmar
- Aung San Suu Kyi must be clearer in recognizing the attacks against the Rohingya, says Jostein Hole Kobbeltvedt, Executive Director of the Rafto Foundation.
At the meeting Kobbeltvedt referred to the reports from the UN, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, which document the human rights vioations against the Rohingya.
Urging her to use the political space
"We urge her to use the political space she has as the de facto leader of Myanmar, to solve the unsustainable and dramatic situation of the ethnic Muslim group”, says Kobbeltvedt.
Aung San Suu Kyi received the Rafto Prize in 1990 for leading the peaceful struggle for democracy in Burma.
"We have previously criticized her her lack of responsibility and are very disappointed that Suu Kyi has not condemned violence against the Rohingya. Now we are given the opportunity to deepen our criticism in a formal meeting with her”, says Kobbeltvedt.
More than 600,000 people have escaped from Rakhine state in western Myanmar to Bangladesh.
“The foundation follows up on the Rafto Prize recipients, and therefore the meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi important to us. It is our opportunity to talk about human rights and the obligations we believe she has in her role as a political leader”, emphasizes Kobbeltvedt.
"We urge her to use the political space she has as the de-facto leader of Myanmar, to solve the unsustainable and dramatic situation for the Rohingya”
Peace process in Rakhine
Aung San Suu Kyi said in the meeting that she will work for the Rohingya to return to Myanmar. She also emphasized that if there is evidence of abuse against the Rohingya, the perpetrators must be punished.
"She explained that the world community must understand the complex and difficult situation in Mynamar, and that she is working for a peace process and a reconciliation between the groups in the in Rakhine state," says Jostein Hole Kobbeltvedt.
According to the Constitution, Aung San Suu Kyi has no political power to give orders to the military.
Aung San Suu Kyi has met strong criticisms from the international community over the past year because she, as a political leader, has not condemned or intervened to stop the Burmese miltary-led assaults against the Rohingya.
The Norwegian Burma Committee leader, Audun Aagre was also present at the meeting in Naypidaq. The Norwegian Burma Committee and the Rafto Foundation are among the first human rights organizations Aung San Suu Kyi meets after the Rohyngia have fled to Bangladesh. The Rafto Foundation will also have meetings with NGOs and the Norwegian Ambassador in Myanmar.
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