Tuesday March 20, 2018
Home World Myanmar&#8217...

Myanmar’s Rohingya ‘Deserve Hope’ ahead of Peace Talks, says UN Chief Ban Ki-moon

Some 120,000 Rohingya remain displaced in squalid "internally displaced persons" (IDP) camps since fighting erupted in Rakhine state between Buddhists and Muslims in 2012

Children belonging to Rohingya Community. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Myanmar to improve living conditions for its Rohingya Muslim minority on Tuesday, ahead of peace talks between leader Aung San Suu Kyi and many of the country’s ethnic armed rebel groups.

1.1 million Rohingya of Mayanmar will not be represented at the conference starting on Wednesday, but the fact Ban raised their plight – and used the term for the group that is divisive in Myanmar – may add to international pressure on Suu Kyi to address the issue.

“The government has assured me about its commitment to address the roots of the problem,” Ban told a news conference in the capital Naypyitaw.

“Like all people everywhere, they need and deserve a future, hope, and dignity. This is not just a question of the Rohingya community’s right to self-identity.”


Ban and Suu Kyi met reporters as the Nobel Peace Prize laureate launched a push to end decades of fighting between Myanmar’s military and ethnic rebels.

Suu Kyi has made the peace process a priority for her administration, which faces sky-high expectations at home and abroad after sweeping to power in an election last November to end more than half a century of military-backed rule.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter

Tensions between Buddhists and Muslims in western Myanmar, however, are not being tackled as part of that process.

Many in the Buddhist-majority country regard the largely stateless Rohingya as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, and they are not among the 135 ethnic groups recognized by law. Suu Kyi has asked foreign diplomats and leaders not to use the term “Rohingya” because in her view it is inflammatory.

Some 120,000 Rohingya remain displaced in squalid “internally displaced persons” (IDP) camps since fighting erupted in Rakhine state between Buddhists and Muslims in 2012.

Thousands have fled persecution and poverty.

“I conveyed the concern of the international community about tens of thousands of people who have been living in very poor conditions in IDP camps for over four years,” said Ban.

He added that if they had lived in the country for generations, all people in Myanmar should enjoy the same legal status and citizenship as everyone else. Many Rohingya families have lived in Myanmar for that long.

Last week Suu Kyi picked former U.N. chief Kofi Annan to lead a commission to stop human rights abuses in Rakhine.

Peace conference

Few concrete proposals are to emerge from this week’s talks, with delegates expecting to meet every six months to discuss issues ranging from security, political representation and culture to sharing the fruits of Myanmar’s mineral riches.

The gathering has been compared to the Panglong Conference, a meeting between Suu Kyi’s father, Myanmar’s national hero General Aung San, and ethnic minorities in 1947 that led to the formation of the Union of Burma after independence from Britain.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

“The 21st Century Panglong conference is a promising first step,” said Ban. “I congratulate all participants for their patience, determination, and spirit of compromise.”

The fact that Suu Kyi has been able to bring the vast majority of the rebels to the negotiating table only five months after taking power is a sign of progress, experts say.

Powerful armed groups from regions bordering China, who refused to sign a ceasefire last October under the previous military-backed government, are now set to take part, partly owing to China’s tacit support for the talks.

As Myanmar’s economy opens up, China is vying for influence with the United States. President Xi Jinping pledged his country would play a “constructive role” in the peace process when Suu Kyi visited China this month.

Suu Kyi is travelling to Washington in September where she is likely to face questions on the treatment of the Rohingya.

Myanmar has been torn by fighting between the military, which seized power in the 1962 coup, and ethnic armed groups almost without a break since the end of the Second World War.

Casting a shadow over the talks is a recent flare-up in fighting in northernmost Kachin State and clashes in northeastern Shan State, which is home to several large groups operating close to borders with China and Thailand.

The still-powerful military has also strongly opposed talks with three groups that fought it in the remote Kokang area last year unless they disarm. The groups have said they cannot, citing continued pressure from the army. It was unclear whether they would be allowed to attend the summit.

Ethnic delegates have complained about what they saw as an arbitrary schedule set by the government.

Suu Kyi, who said little at Tuesday’s joint appearance with Ban, has not consulted the groups about the date of the conference or the specific agenda, diplomats familiar with the situation said.

“I will do my best to let all ethnic leaders attend tomorrow’s conference,” said Suu Kyi. “It’s their own decision whether they attend or not.” (VOA)


Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

Next Story

Make Women’s Day Special With These Gifts

If you are looking for some excellent ideas to make the women of your life extremely special, here are some

women's day
This is the special day when each person must reflect on how valuable the various women in one's life are. Pixabay

A very special day earmarked by the United Nations to celebrate the womanhood, appreciate all the women achievers, the entire progress made by women in every field and of course, bring in a sense of closeness amidst women from all across the world, the International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8th. It is a very special day.

This is the special day when each person must reflect on how valuable the various women in one’s life are. It is that particular day where women must set targets for themselves and reflect on their achievement in the past.

Regardless the gender, everyone should celebrate this special day. It’s not really necessary to make the celebration highly extravagant, rather it could be as simple as making a good meal for the lady of your life or penning down all the thoughts about what the lady of your life means to you.

If you are looking for some excellent ideas to make the women of your life extremely special, here are some-

ALSO READ: A welcome step for women empowerment laws, soon to be introduced law will help to prevent women’s abuse in NRI marriages: Rakesh Srivastava

women's day
What could be a better gift for the woman of your life than gifting her a bunch of exotic fresh red Roses?

Give Her A Nice Floral Gifts:

Roses resemble the color of love and admiration and gifting the important women with red Roses show your heartfelt love and respect for them. If you want to make the floral gift more personalized, accompany the roses with the personally written note highlighting about the things you admire about the lady and you would definitely see her glow with the complete happiness on her face.

women's day
Making a meal for the special woman is always a heart touching gesture.

Make A Nice Brunch For Her:

Mornings are definitely the challenging time for most of the women and they take all the responsibilities of cooking, organizing the meals etc and all they do without letting anyone even know about it. How about let her sleep for longer on this special day? You can prepare the entire breakfast and lunch for your woman and give it as a nice surprise to her.

women's day
These days you can easily order the cakes online from the comfort of your home.

Order A Very Delicious Women‘s Day Special Cake:

Any occasion is incomplete without a cake cutting ceremony and the celebration of Women’s day is also not an exception to it. You must make it really memorable with a nice cake cutting celebration. You can easily buy Happy Women’s Day cake from any online store and make a cake cutting ceremony to honor all the achievements of the woman of your life. Most the popular online stores offer some of the excellent discount deals and availing such discount deals could be a great way to save some good amount of cash.

ALSO READ: International Women’s Day: Eight actionable areas for women’s empowerment

Gift Her Something Nice For Her Professional Life:

She is the working woman and she spends a significant amount of time in office so gifting her something related to her regular job will be a nice idea. How about gifting your woman a vintage looking pen or a well-designed notebook for keeping all the tabs of her regular works? She will definitely appreciate these types of gift items.

women's day
Is she a gardening enthusiast?

A Potted Plant:

Does she spend a good amount of time for a gardening purpose on a regular basis? If the answer is yes, buying a potted plant could be an excellent Women’s Day gift idea for her. You can actually expect to see her smiling all day long and every time she waters the plant, she will be remembering you.