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Jakarta Post

This General Assembly, ASEAN should show true leadership on Rohingya

  • Beatrice Lau


Hong Kong   /   Fri, September 27, 2019   /  03:08 pm
This General Assembly, ASEAN should show true leadership on Rohingya In this file photo taken on October 19, 2017 Rohingya refugees who were stranded walk near the no man's land area between Bangladesh and Myanmar in the Palongkhali area next to Ukhia. Hundreds of desperate Rohingya Muslims still pour over the Myanmar border into Bangladesh camps every week, six months into the refugee crisis. (AFP/Munir Uz Zaman)

Two years on, Asia is no closer to ending its worst refugee crisis in decades. Over 900,000 Rohingya are in Bangladesh alone, including 759,000 who fled a campaign of violence by the Myanmar military in Rakhine state that began in August 2017. Hundreds of thousands had already left, to Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, as well as in India and further afield. This is an Asian crisis, but Southeast Asia should show stronger leadership. Southeast Asia’s leaders will come together on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly and during the ASEAN Summit in November. ASEAN has been one of the few actors able to engage the Myanmar government since 2017. The region’s leaders must show compassion for the Rohingya and push Myanmar to take steps to end the violence, discrimination, and persecution that forced out the Rohingya. Otherwise, this tragedy will continue....

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.