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Jakarta Post

Myanmar begins to reach out to ASEAN over Rakhine

  • Dian Septiari and Tama Salim

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 17 2018   /  01:33 am

Myanmar has asked its ASEAN partners to help prepare adequate infrastructure for the eventual repatriation of Rohingya refugees who have fled from violence, marking what an Indonesian official calls a breakthrough for a country that has strongly refused to involve others in the crisis.

The Buddhist-majority country has been at the center of international scrutiny since a military crackdown launched last August drove more than 700,000 Rohingya from their homes in northern Rakhine state and into crowded camps in Bangladesh.

Under the leadership of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar dismissed accusations that its military had engaged in “textbook ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya minority and kept a closed lid on the crisis even with its ASEAN neighbors, despite a spillover of refugees fleeing by boat to neighboring shores.

However, now there is reason to be...