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Myanmar’s opposition leader snubs issue of Rohingya Muslims

Aung San Suu Kyi at
today’s World Economic Forum BBC debate in Naypyidaw (Photo: Simon Roughneen)
June 7, 2013

opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has rejected criticism leveled at her over
her silence about the persecution of the Rohingya Muslim community, while
announcing her desire to run for president.
The Muslim minority
of Rohingyas in Myanmar accounts for about five percent of the country’s
population of nearly 60 million. The persecuted minority has faced torture,
neglect, and repression since the country achieved independence in 1948.
International and Human Rights Watch have called on Myanmar’s government to
address the plight of the Rohingya Muslim population and to protect the
community against Buddhist extremists.
“At the moment
nobody seems to be very satisfied with me because I’m not taking sides,” Suu
Kyi said. “I have not been silent. It’s just that they are not hearing what
they want to hear from me.”
“I do not want to
aggravate the situation by saying that one community is wrong or the other
community is wrong,” she added.
Suu Kyi made the
remarks during a meeting with foreign business executives in the city of
Naypyidaw on Thursday.
She also expressed
her political ambitions and said, “If I pretended that I didn’t want to be
president I wouldn’t be honest. And I would rather be honest with my people
than otherwise… I want to run for president.”
Under the current
law, her marriage to a foreigner disqualifies her for Myanmar presidency.