Political leader Aung San Suu Kyi spoke in Tokyo this Friday about the situation in Myanmar. She said that the country needs peace in order for it to move forward with plans for sustainable development. Myanmar has gone through a troubled time recently. There have been conflicts in the north of the state of Rakhine. Human rights activists have made public the developments there. They say that the conflicts led to civilian abuse on the part of the military. Suu Kyi hopes that peace will allow Myanmar to move on from the events.
The Government Mishandles the Situation in Rakhine
Suu Kyi has a long political career and is the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Right now, the crisis in Rakhine is posing a challenge to her government.
At the time, the political leader is in Japan for five days. The visit hopes to attract investment and much needed aid to Myanmar. But the trouble at home is overshadowing her visit.
The state in the north of Myanmar has seen a surge in the violence against a religious minority. The Rohingya are a Muslim minority that have faced persecution in the past. The government has received criticism for how it handled the situation in Rakhine. Human rights groups say that soldiers have raped and killed civilians. Aid workers were denied access to the area and could not provide relief. Only on Thursday did the government allow for the activity of aid workers to resume.
The events in Rakhine are the most serious and most violent that the region has seen in years. The last time there were such conflicts was the communal clashes in 2012. Hundreds lost their lives during that time.
Aung San Suu Kyi Talks about Peace
Religious tensions are not new to Myanmar. Since the country gained its independence in 1948, there have been clashes between the Burman majority and the country’s ethnic minorities. Many groups in more remote parts of the country chose to take up arms and begin to fight the military.
Aung San Suu Kyi acknowledged that there are still conflicts in Myanmar.
“We are still not at peace, there is still armed conflict between various ethnic groups in our country. We must have peace in order that our development may be stable and sustainable,”
said Aung San Suu Kyi.
Suu Kyi did not make any direct comments about the demands from human rights groups to start an investigation. Experts have argued that it is necessary for the government to look into the allegations of abuse from the state of Rakhine. However, she has issued a warning to the military to proceed with restraint.
Speaking to business leaders in Japan, Suu Kyi delivered a message of unity and equality for all the ethnicities of Myanmar.
“We want all our ethnic peoples to feel that they have an equal chance to progress, that it is truly a nation made up of diverse peoples but united in our purpose to be a society that is at harmony,”
said Aung San Suu Kyi.
Image source: Wikipedia