BURMA has warned Malaysia against interfering in the country’s internal issues, after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said he will take part in a protest against the crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.
According to Myanmar Times, Burma called on its ASEAN counterpart to respect the principle of non-interference and not take part in the rally this Sunday.
“According to ASEAN principles, a member country does not interfere in other member countries’ internal affairs. We have always followed and respected this principle.
“We hope that the Malaysian government will continue to follow it,” deputy director general of the President’s Office U Zaw Htay told the paper.
Last weekend, Najib’s deputy Zahid Hamidi was quoted by local media as saying that he and the Malaysian prime minister would be attending a protest on the Rohingya issue.
Zaw Htay, however, said he believes Najib may have made the decision to attend the rally to appease the people in his country. He added that Malaysia’s ambassador to Burma will be questioned on the matter, and that if Najib does attend the rally, it will be monitored.
The Malaysian government also said in last month that it will summon Burma’s ambassador over the crackdown in northwestern Rakhine State. It did not, however, give a timeframe. It also urged the Burmese government to take necessary action to address the alleged ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in the northern Rakhine state. At least 30,000 people have been displaced and 86 people killed in the escalating violence, the most serious bloodshed since 2012 when hundreds were killed in communal clashes.
This week, Muslim-majority Malaysia canceled two under-22 football friendlies against Myanmar as part of the protest against the treatment of the Rohingya.
RASMI: Aksi antarabangsa Harimau Malaysia B-22 lwn Myanmar B-22 yang dijadual berlangsung pada 9 & 12 Dis ini di Yangon telah dibatalkan
— Harimau Malaysia (@HarimauMY) November 30, 2016
On Friday, over 100 people protested the arrival of former UN secretary general Kofi Annan near the Sittwe airport in Burma, who is on a visit to the restive Rakhine state to address the plight of the Muslim Rohingya amid an army crackdown
Critics have been protesting Annan’s appointment as head of the Rakhine Advisory Commission tasked with investigating the communal conflict in the country, with many questioning the panel’s ability to adequately deal with the complicated issues between the Muslim Rohingya and Buddhists in the troubled state.
“The Rakhine issue is an internal affair. We cannot accept interference from outsiders,” Reuters quoted a farmer at the protest saying. “We don’t need foreigners for our internal affairs. This shows how the government mishandles the case.”