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Myanmar blocks discussion of Rohingya at Asean meeting

  • Published at 08:39 PM September 13, 2017
  • Last updated at 11:50 AM September 14, 2017
Myanmar blocks discussion of Rohingya at Asean meeting
Rohingya Muslim refugees arrive from Myanmar after crossing the Naf river in the Bangladeshi town of Teknaf on September 12, 2017AFP

Asean’s inter-parliamentary assembly is due to meet in Manila on Thursday

Myanmar has blocked discussion on the plight of Rohingya Muslims at a meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) lawmakers next week, Turkey based news agency Anadolu reports.

Indonesia had proposed including the current Rohingya crisis in the discussions of Asean lawmakers but Myanmar objected, broadcaster ABS-CBN News reported, citing lawmaker Artemio Adasa.

“Myanmar objected… So, definitely we cannot place this [among] the issues to be deliberated during the plenary,” Adasa, deputy secretary general of the Philippine House of Representatives, said.

Asean’s inter-parliamentary assembly is due to meet in Manila on Thursday.

Despite Myanmar’s objections, Adasa said “there might be some bilateral agreements” on the Rohingya crisis.

The refugees are fleeing a fresh security operation in which they have said security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages.

Around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

Adasa said the issue of the Rohingya was a “national concern” for Myanmar, where they are considered “problematic constituents”.

House Secretary General Cesar Pareja, chairman of the assembly of Asean lawmakers, said member nations would be free to make separate bilateral agreements outside the framework of the assembly.

Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

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