Dhaka, Sept 9: Thousands of people took to the streets across Asia to denounce Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya Muslim minority as some 2,90,000 of them have fled to Bangladesh to escape the ongoing violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state since August 25. More than 1,000 people have been killed in the violence, according to an UN estimate. Political and Islamic groups, along with other civil society organisations, joined protests in Bangladesh’s capital on Friday to urge Myanmar to “stop committing genocide” and take back those who have sought refuge elsewhere, CNN reported.
Protests across Asia over Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingyas
Protesters criticised Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and called for her Nobel Prize to be withdrawn. Protests also took place in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Pakistan. The government of Myanmar blames terrorists for starting the violence. Marchers in Dhaka expressed their outrage at reports of abuse coming from Myanmar, the report said. “I’ve joined the rally to express my solidarity with the Rohingya people,” activist Mahfuza Haque Neela told CNN. “The Rohingya people, including women and children, are being killed..women are being raped.”
The rally was partly organised by protest group Gonojagoron Mancha, whose leaders said they plan to besiege Myanmar’s embassy in Dhaka on Monday if the government does not take action. Over a thousand Muslim devotees belonging to the organisation Islamic Movement Bangladesh joined a rally in the capital’s Paltan area. The movement’s leaders demanded the immediate deployment of UN peacekeepers in Rakhine and the implementation of the recommendations made by a commission led by former UN head Kofi Ann. The Bangladesh tiolist Party urged the country’s government to “force Myanmar to take back the Rohingyas”. Dhaka’s Buddhist community also protested Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingyas. Security was beefed up around Buddhist temples and other institutions in Dhaka and elsewhere. About 200 protesters rallied outside Myanmar’s embassy in Malaysia on Friday urging Kuala Lumpur to sever diplomatic ties with Yangon. The protest was led by the youth wing of the predomintly Muslim Malaysia’s ruling party, the United Malays tiol Organisation, after Friday prayers. Thousands of people in Pakistan from all walks of life took to the streets in major cities on Friday to condemn the crackdown on Rohingyas. In Karachi, more than 2,000 people demonstrated outside the Karachi Press Club, media reports said.(IANS)