Myanmar Buddhists boo ex-UN chief Kofi Annan
Posted on September 7th, 2016


Many booed and shouted “No Kofi-led commission” as his convoy left the state capital airport, holding signs reading “No to foreigners’ biased intervention in our Rakhine State’s affairs”.

Kofi Annan arrives to investigate communal conflict pitting ethnic Rakhine Buddhists against Rohingya Muslim minority.

Kofi Annan, the former UN chief, has been given a hostile welcome by local Buddhists in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state where he will investigate the religious conflict that has displaced tens of thousands of Muslim Rohingya people.

Annan has been entrusted by Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar’s new government, with the task of finding ways to heal wounds in the bitterly divided and impoverished region.

Hundreds turned out on Tuesday morning as Annan landed at Sittwe Airport to make clear that he was not welcome.

Many booed and shouted “No Kofi-led commission” as his convoy left the state capital airport, holding signs reading “No to foreigners’ biased intervention in our Rakhine State’s affairs”.

Annan, who has promised to be impartial in his approach to the conflict, is expected to meet Rakhine leaders as well as visit camps where tens of thousands of Rohingya languish in punishing poverty.

However, the region’s largest political group, the Arakan National Party, has already ruled out meeting Annan.

Members of the nearly one-million-strong Rohingya community are largely denied citizenship and the government does not recognise them as an official ethnic minority.

Their appalling living conditions, including heavy restrictions on movement, have led tens of thousands to flee, many via treacherous sea journey south towards Malaysia.

Last week, Ban Ki-moon, the sitting UN chief, called on Myanmar to grant citizenship to the the group and respect their right to self-identify as Rohingya.

However, the issue remains sensitive to local Buddhists.

Rakhine, which borders Bangladesh, has been scarred since 2012 by bouts of communal violence between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and a minority Muslim population.

More than 100 people have been killed – the majority Muslims – while tens of thousands of the stateless Rohingya group have spent the past four years trapped in displacement camps with limited access to health care and other basic services.

Aung San Suu Kyi has dealt gingerly with the issue since coming to power in March, drawing criticism from rights groups, which have urged her to use her moral weight to alleviate the Rohingya’s plight.

READ MORE: EU parliament condemns Myanmar persecution of Rohingya

One Response to “Myanmar Buddhists boo ex-UN chief Kofi Annan”

  1. plumblossom Says:

    In Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Tamils were not only provided fully language, religious and cultural rights as per the UN charter let alone citizenship, but going beyond the UN charter provided them political rights too (which is at the discretion of the country’s government only as per the UN charter, which means a government does not necessarily have to provide any political rights to a minority, especially not an immigrant minority). The Sri Lankan Tamils have provincial councils with all reasonable powers.

    What did these Sri Lankan Tamils, the TNA separatist terrorists and the LTTE do in return? Ethnic cleanse the entire North of Sinhala and Muslim people, deny the indigenous Sinhala people even the right to live in the North or even in the East and commenced a conventional war where even Sinhala villagers in their villagers were massacred.

    What in return did the US, UK, EU, Canada, Norway, Sweden and India the US imperialists do? Supported the brutal terrorist group the LTTE and they are now busy trying the create Eelam or a separate state. This is a good lesson for Sri Lanka. We have gone out of our way to be just and fair by the Sri Lankan Tamils and look at what we have got in return, our country will soon even be partitioned as per the US imperialists demands. The only way out is to refuse to carry out the US resolution and tell the US imperialists to leave Sri Lanka alone and to get out of Sri Lanka for good once and for all and to leave us alone.

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