Myanmar’s democracy icon Ang San Suu Kyi has remained silent on the country’s discrimination against its Rohingya Muslims as the Noble Peace laureate seeks a country with no Muslim population , Press TV reports.
“They [Suu Kyi’s opposition party] won several new seats in the [Myanmarese] parliament there but neither her nor her coalition has spoken out about it [the ongoing violence against Rohingya Muslims] and I think it’s because that they … want to look forward to a new Myanmar without the Muslims as part of the landscape,” Abdul Alim Musa, Imam of Washington’s Masjid al-Islam said in an interview with Press TV on Sunday.
Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy looks ahead to elections in 2015. Some analysts say Suu Kyi fears that expressing support for the Muslim minority could jeopardize her campaign.
Musa added that Suu Kyi failed to “take the side of justice which she has been crying for for decades…and neither has she spoken out nor has her coalition spoken out [against the massacre of Muslims in Myanmar].”
The comments come while the United Nations has warned that Myanmar’s Rohingiya Muslim community is living under dire conditions, facing threats of ethnic cleansing and state-sponsored violence.
“We have been receiving a stream of reports from independent sources alleging discriminatory and arbitrary responses by security forces, and even their instigation of and involvement in clashes,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay said in a statement.
Pillay called for a prompt, independent investigation, noting that the crisis reflects the long-standing and systemic discrimination against the Rohingya Muslims, who are not recognized by the government and remain stateless.
The government of Myanmar refuses to recognize Rohingyas, who it claims are not natives and classifies as illegal migrants, although the Rohingya are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origin, who migrated to Myanmar as early as the 8th century.
The UN says decades of discrimination have left the Rohingyas stateless, with Myanmar implementing restrictions on their movement and withholding land rights, education and public services.
Reports say 650 Rohingya Muslims were killed as of June 28 alone during clashes in the western region of Rakhine. This is while 1,200 others are missing and 80,000 more have been displaced.