Rohingya crisis: Little can be done if Myanmar remains in denial - Anifah

Rohingya crisis: Little can be done if Myanmar remains in denial - Anifah

Rohingya crisis: Little can be done if Myanmar remains in denial - Anifah

"While the attack by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on 25 August against Myanmar security forces is to be condemned, the military's response has been globally acknowledged to be responsible for the deaths of many innocent civilians and the displacement of 400,000 Rohingyas", Sivakumar said, echoing Anifah's statement.

No ethnic cleansing is taking place against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, its United Nations ambassador told the 193 country representatives of the General Assembly on Monday, pushing back against broad condemnations from the worldwide body.

Senior diplomats and foreign ministers of Asean discussed the statement on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in NY last Saturday. Malaysia disassociated itself from the statement, insisting that it "was not based on consensus".

"Malaysia would like to disassociate itself from the chairman's statement as we are of the view that it is a misrepresentation of the reality of the situation", Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said, in a statement revealed Monday.

The statement also urged all parties to avoid worsening the situation on the ground, and called for a "viable and long-term solutions to the root causes of the conflict".

Anifah said Malaysia had made known its concerns to its fellow ASEAN members, "but they were not reflected in the chairman's statement". The violence in western Myanmar's Rakhine State and the refugee exodus is the biggest crisis the government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has faced since it came to power last year in a transition from almost 50 years of military rule.

They expressed "concern over the recent developments in Northern Rakhine State of Myanmar" saying it does not depict the reality and did not mention the persecuted Rohingya Muslims.

Malaysia is anxious that the recent conflict could result in another influx of Rohingya refugees into the predominantly Muslim country, which already hosts nearly 60,000 of them from earlier rounds of violence in Rakhine.

"The Philippines, as chair, tolerates the public manifestation of dissenting voices", the ministry said.

Cayetano's statement, issued yesterday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in NY, had expressed the collective concern of Asean's foreign ministers over the recent developments in Rakhine state.

"We will not be asking for the statement to be retracted but would like to highlight that the statement should not have quoted ASEAN foreign affairs because there was no consensus achieved", he said.

Myanmar must halt "atrocities which have unleashed a full-scale humanitarian crisis", Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman urged on Sunday.

"It is deeply regrettable that unsubstantiated allegations have been repeated in these chambers likening the situation in Rakhine state to 'ethnic cleansing, '" said Hau Do Suan, the Southeast Asian nation's permanent representative to the U.N.

Now that Ms Aung San Suu Kyi has said the country is willing to take back refugees after a verification process, Myanmar could start with a clean slate and register the returnees (Suu Kyi denies going soft on Myanmar military; Sept 21).

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