Suu Kyi lauds PM Modi for siding with Myanmar, hopes to make joint effort for Rohingya crisis

  • India and Myanmar had similar security interests in the region: Narendra Modi

RAKHINE- The ‘disgraced’ leader of violence-torn Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi thanked Indian premier Narendra Modi for his strong stance with regard to the crisis in Rohingya with hopes of a joint strategy to solve it.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday alongside Indian premier Narendra Modi, the leader appreciated Indian concerns over ‘terrorist threat that came to our (Myanmar) country a couple of weeks ago’.

“We believe that together we can work to make sure that terrorism is not allowed to take root on our soil.” she said in her brief remarks.

On the other hand, Indian premier Narendra Modi who met Kyi at the presidential palace in the capital, Naypyitaw expressed that India and Myanmar had similar security interests in the region.

“We share your concerns about extremist violence in Rakhine state and especially the violence against security forces and how innocent lives have been affected,” he said.

“We hope that all the stakeholders together can find a way out in which the unity and territorial integrity of Myanmar is respected and at the same time we can have peace, justice dignity and democratic values for all.” noted Modi.

Although Muslims in Buddhist majority state are reeling under constant terror ever since the 1982 General Ne Win’s government enacted the Burmese nationality law but a fresh spree of violence sparked international controversy on August 25 when a few insurgents attacked dozens of police posts and an army base.

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The attacks triggered a sweep by the Myanmar security forces, in which refugees and right groups say many innocent Rohingya have been targeted.

The recent deadliest violence in Myanmar’s north-west has so far claimed nearly 400 lives, with the army claiming it is conducting operations against “extremist terrorists”.

The region has witnessed tension between its Buddhist and Muslim populations since communal violence broke out in 2012.

By comparison, communal violence in 2012 in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine, led to the killing of nearly 200 people and the displacement of about 140,000, most of them Rohingya.

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, evacuated more than 11,700 “ethnic residents” from the area affected by fighting, the army said, referring to the non-Muslim population of northern Rakhine.

The treatment of Myanmar’s roughly 1.1 million Rohingya is the biggest challenge facing national leader Aung San Suu Kyi, accused by some Western critics of not speaking out for a minority that has long complained of persecution.

What perturbs India is the influx of some 40,000 Rohingya Muslims into India over the years.