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Jakarta Post

ASEAN chief: Rohingya issue could destabilize the region

  • Yohanna Ririhena

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 30 2012   /  10:07 am

ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan urges the international community to take a more effective stance and faster pace in helping settle Myanmar’s Rohingya problem, since the conflict poses strategic and security challenges that could destabilize Southeast Asia.

“They are now under tremendous pressure, pain and suffering. If the international community, including ASEAN, are not able to relieve that pressure and pain, conceivably, [the 1.5 million of Rohingyas] could become radicalized and the entire region could be destabilized, including the Malacca Straits,” Surin said in Jakarta on Monday.

If they became radicalized, he said, the area risked becoming a zone of violence that could damage cooperation in ASEAN and East Asia. “I think it has wider strategic and security implications.”

He also saw potential dangers for the major sea-lane of the Malacca Str...