Obama Warns Against Repression of Muslims in Myanmar

Date:

US President Barack Obama answers a question during a joint news conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at his residence in Kuala Lumpur..AP
US President Barack Obama answers a question during a joint news conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at his residence in Kuala Lumpur..AP

“You have a Muslim minority inside Myanmar right now that the broader population has historically looked down upon and whose rights are not fully being protected.”

KUALA LUMPUR — US President Barack Obama has warned that ethnic and religious conflicts could move Myanmar in a “very bad direction,” reported AFP.

Obama praised the “courageous process” of political reform taking place in a country formerly led by a military junta, but warned that democratization after years of repression brought its own perils.
“Myanmar won’t succeed if the Muslim population is oppressed,” Obama said at a “town hall” meeting during a visit to Muslim-majority Malaysia.

Obama was referring to Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority in Rakhine state which has been subject to persecution at the hands of Buddhist nationalists.

“The danger now that they are democratizing is that there are different ethnic groups and different religions inside Myanmar,” Obama said.

“If people start organizing politically around the religious identity or their ethnic identity… then you can actually start seeing conflicts… that could move Myanmar in a very bad direction.”

“In particular, you have a Muslim minority inside Myanmar right now that the broader population has historically looked down upon and whose rights are not fully being protected.”

Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been by plagued by religious unrest in recent years with at least 250 people killed in clashes since 2012.  Thousands more people have been displaced.

Obama made a triumphant visit to Myanmar in November 2012 and his administration has offered strong support to the government of President Thein Sein as it seeks to cement civilian rule.

Washington has for years been a strong supporter of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and backs efforts to amend the country’s constitution so that she can run for president.

Obama called during his inauguration in 2009 for authoritarian regimes to unclench their fists and embrace dialogue with the US.

Unless Obama’s diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear program evolves into a long-term rapprochement, Myanmar will stand as the only example of a nation to have accepted the call.

theclarionindia
theclarionindiahttps://clarionindia.net
Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

Share post:

Popular

More like this
Related

BJP Hell-Bent on Changing Constitution: Priyanka Gandhi

Priyanka said that If BJP come to power again,...

Refrain from Divisive Campaigns, EC Asks BJP, Congress Chiefs

Too little too late, says senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai...

Trial And Punishment: What do Arrest Warrants at ICC Mean For Israel, Hamas

For the first time, an international criminal tribunal is...

First-Person Accounts of Poverty And Dreams in Buland Masjid, a Makeshift Habitation in New Delhi

An excerpt from ‘Dreaming a Paradise: Migrations and the...