Malaysiakini Letter

Myanmar should be suspended from Asean, or kicked out

Muzaffar Syah Mallow  |  Published:  |  Modified:

It is time for Asean to take a bold step in dealing with the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.

It is good to use the diplomatic approach most of the time, but in this case, we need to be more realistic. Thousands of Rohingyas have been subjected to years of inhumane treatment and persecution.

While some are taking their own initiative to be reasonable with the Myanmar authorities by having dialogues and diplomatic discussions, the world has been exposed to many shocking revelations involving the persecution of the Rohingya.

According to several international human right groups, the Rohingya are regarded as the most persecuted minority group in the world.

Amnesty International says that the Rohingya have been suffering human rights violations at the hands of the Burmese junta since 1978, and many have fled to neighbouring countries – including Malaysia – as a result of this brutal treatment, not only from their own government, by also from radical groups operating in the country. Some historians even claim that the Rohingya were oppressed for many years even prior to 1978. 

Knowing all these atrocities which have taken place in our own region, it would be sad so see no concrete solutions being taken to put an end to the horror faced by the Rohingya.

But it would be much sadder if our proud regional association, Asean, fails to take immediate action to deal with the ongoing crisis. Asean cannot have an uncivilised member in their midst, one that fails to respect international laws and peoples’ basic right to exist.

As such, the time has come for Asean members to meet and produce a strong statement to Myanmar condemning the inhumane treatment and persecution of the Rohingya. This will not only send a strong warning to the country’s authorities – that they must end the violence, lest they face suspension or full expulsion from Asean.

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