NAY PYI TAW Jan 3, 2016: Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi has pledged her commitment to achieving lasting peace in the country in 2017.
Speaking at the opening of the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC) here, Suu Kyi on Sunday said Myanmar’s peacemaking efforts will meet with success in the coming year, Xinhua news agency reported.
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“From this building, we will face the challenge of bringing the country on the right path to the goal of peace and with the help of the people and our good friends in the world who have a genuine goodwill toward the country, we will strive for national reconciliation and peace in Myanmar.”
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There has already been an NRPC in Yangon chaired by Suu Kyi. (IANS)
A generation of Rohingya children in Myanmar and Bangladesh will be condemned to a perpetual life in limbo unless coordinated international action is taken to end the violence and discrimination against the Rohingya people, according to the UNICEF report Lives in Limbo.
More than half a million Rohingya refugee children are estimated to have fled to Bangladesh. The report by the U.N. children’s fund says that these children face multiple dangers, including the imminent threat of floods, landslides, and waterborne disease outbreaks during the upcoming monsoon and cyclone seasons, as well as the exploitation and early marriages that arise from living in congested, slumlike conditions.
However, the situation for the estimated 185,000 children who remain in Myanmar’s Rakhine state is considered even grimmer, according to Simon Ingram, author of the report.
He says families there reportedly are living isolated, fearful lives with minimal access to basic services.
“I think, if we are looking for an indicator of the situation on the ground, there is the fact that people are still continuing to come at the rate of something like 1,000 or more a week, crossing into Bangladesh,” Ingram said. “So, I think that that number itself speaks to the situation on the ground — the anxiety, the fear, the continued threat of violence and the hope of those people and those communities.”
UNICEF is urging the Myanmar government to end the violence, to lift restrictions on Rohingya freedom of movement in Rakhine state, to provide for their basic needs, and to grant unlimited access to humanitarian agencies.
UNICEF says the nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh will not return to their homes in Myanmar without guarantees of safety. In the meantime, it says, education offers one of the best opportunities for Rohingya children to achieve a better future. (VOA)