Friday, November 16, 2018 | ePaper

Suu Kyi under microscope at ASEAN summit

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Reuters, Singapore/Yangon :
The customary cordiality of Southeast Asian summits may be missing when the region's leaders meet next week due to sharp differences over Myanmar, whose military has been accused of genocide against the country's Rohingya Muslim minority.
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is due to attend the November 11-15 Singapore meeting, and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, a doyen of the group, has served notice he has lost faith in the Nobel peace laureate because of the Rohingya issue. "We have made it quite clear we don't really support her anymore," Mahathir said in an interview with Turkish news channel TRT World just over a month ago.
"Our policy in ASEAN is non-interference in the internal affairs of the countries, but this is ... grossly unjust," he said, referring to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The Rohingya crisis is one of the biggest man-made disasters involving a member since ASEAN was founded in 1967, and it is one of the thorniest issues yet faced by a group that traditionally works by consensus.
Many diplomats and rights activists say ASEAN's credibility is at risk if it fails to tackle the matter head-on.
A UN report in August detailed mass killings and gang rapes with genocidal intent in a military crackdown that began in 2017 and drove hundreds of thousands of Rohingya from Myanmar's Rakhine state into Bangladesh.
Outrage over what the United Nations branded "ethnic cleansing" has brought demands from Western nations for criminal charges and sanctions.

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