Wed Sep 20 2017, 3:15:59 +03

Indonesian Foreign Minister to urge Myanmar to halt violence against Rohingya Muslims

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(Jakarta-AlummahWorld-Dhu-AlHijjah 12,1438H) Indonesian President Joko Widodo has sent his foreign minister to Myanmar to urge its government to halt violence against Rohingya Muslims, he said on Sunday.

A group of activists had held a protest at the embassy on Saturday, calling for the Nobel Prize Committee to withdraw the Nobel Peace Prize from Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, state news agency Antara reported. 

Protests continued on Sunday in Jakarta’s city center, with dozens of people calling for the Indonesian government to take an active involvement in efforts to end human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Indonesian President Widodo said he has sent Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to Myanmar to hold “intensive communications” with involved parties including the United Nations.

“Earlier this afternoon the Foreign Minister has departed to Myanmar to ask the Myanmar government to stop and prevent violence, to provide protection to all citizens, including Muslims in Myanmar, and to give access to humanitarian aid,” Widodo said.

Widodo added that concrete actions are needed and the Indonesian government is committed to helping to solve the humanitarian crisis and that Marsudi will also travel to Bangladesh to prepare additional aid for refugees there. 

 

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

Aid agencies estimate that about 73,000 Rohingya have fled into neighboring Bangladesh since violence in Myanmar erupted last week and an official said relief camps are reaching full capacity.

Refugees reaching the Bangladeshi fishing village of Shah Porir Dwip described bombs exploding and Rohingya Muslims being burned alive in a military crackdown.

Earlier on Saturday, dozens of demonstrators from all walks of life have scuffled with police in Indonesia during a protest rally in solidarity with Myanmar’s prosecuted Rohingya Muslims and against its government’s clampdown on the desperate minority.

Protesters marched on the Myanmar Embassy in the capital Jakarta on Saturday and finally convened in front of the diplomatic mission, shouting slogans in support of Rohingya Muslims.

They also chanted, “Save Muslim Rohingya” and “Expel the Ambassador of Myanmar” and shouted slogans against the government of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's state counselor, strongly calling on the Southeast Asian country to put an end to violence against the minority.