Malaysian PM tells Myanmar to “stop the killing” of Rohingya, as Muslims meet
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak called on Myanmar on Thursday to stop all discrimination and attacks on Rohingya Muslims, and urged the world’s Islamic countries to act to end an unfolding “humanitarian tragedy”.
Malaysia has spoken out strongly against mostly Buddhist Myanmar over its treatment of its Rohingya minority, especially since October, when security forces launched a crackdown in the north of Rakhine State on the Bangladesh border, where many Rohingya live.
At least 86 people have been killed and an estimated 66,000 have fled into Bangladesh since nine Myanmar policemen were killed on Oct. 9 in attacks on border posts the Myanmar government blamed on Rohingya supported by foreign militants.
“The killing must stop. The violation of women and girls must stop,” Najib, the leader of Muslim-majority Malaysia told a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) called by Malaysia to discuss the Rohingya.
“The persecution of your fellow men and women, simply on the grounds that they are Muslim, must stop,” he said.
Refugees, residents and human rights groups say Myanmar forces have committed summary executions, raped women and burned homes.
But the Myanmar government led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has denied the accusations, saying many of the reports are fabricated. It insists the strife in Rakhine State is an internal matter.
Najib, who joined protesters in Kuala Lumpur last month calling for foreign intervention to stop “genocide”, said Myanmar must act.
“We call on the government of Myanmar to cease all discriminatory actions and attacks against the Rohingyas immediately, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice,” he said.
Rohingya have faced discrimination in Myanmar for generations. They are not classified as a distinct group under citizenship law and are regarded instead as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, entitled only to limited rights.
The violence in the north of Rakhine State since October is the most serious since communal clashes in 2012 in which hundreds of people were killed.