Chandra urges diplomatic approach on Rohingya issue

26 August, thesundaily

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 26, 2012): Dr Chandra Muzaffar, president of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), has called on Malaysia to take a diplomatic approach to persuade Myanmar to stop the persecution and ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya minority in the state of Rakhine.

Chandra said Malaysia was viewed as being able to play an effective role as it was among the Asean members which strongly supported Myanmar’s entry into the bloc.

"Therefore, as a neighbour and friend, we should persuade the Myanmar government to act fairly in the Rohingya issue," he told Bernama.

He said Kuala Lumpur and other Asean members should ensure that the Investigation Commission set up by the Myanmar government was transparent and autonomous in bringing to justice those responsible for the persecution.

Malaysia should also continue communicating with Asean secretary-general Dr Surin Pitsuwan in efforts to halt the ethnic violence in Rakhine, he said.

Apart from these diplomatic efforts, he said, Malaysia could also provide financial assistance by collecting funds for the victims in Rakhine and other areas affected by the conflict.

Chandra also called on Asean member countries to bring up the issue at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit to be held from Aug 29 to 31 in Tehran.

Although there were bigger issues such as Iran, Syria and Palestine, the Asean members present there may be able to make a stand on the situation and pass a resolution on the matter, he said. – Bernama

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