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    Myanmar not to include Rohingya issue in ASEAN confab

    Ye Htut, a spokesman 
    By PressTV
    January 16, 2014

    Myanmar has balked at including
    talks on the Rohingya Muslim community at the meeting of South-East Asian
    foreign ministers the country will host.
    The meeting of foreign ministers
    of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) will open in the city of
    Bagan on Thursday. Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw will also host the first ASEAN
    summit in early May.
    “The Bengali issue is our
    internal affair and we will not discuss it in the ASEAN meetings even if member
    countries ask for it,” said Ye Htut, a spokesman for Myanmar President Thein
    Sein. Myanmar’s government officials refer to the Rohingya Muslims as
    “Bengalis.”
    Meanwhile, Ye Htut expressed the government’s
    willingness to take advice on the issue from other countries, saying, “They may
    have experience in solving such problems peacefully, so we will accept the
    advice that suits our country.”
    Myanmar’s government refuses to
    recognize Rohingya Muslims as citizens and labels them as “illegal” immigrants.
    Rohingya Muslims have been denied
    citizenship since a new citizenship law was enacted in 1982.
    Violence originally targeted
    Rohingya Muslims in western Myanmar, and then spread to other parts of the
    country, where Muslims who have been granted citizenship are also being
    attacked.
    The Myanmar government has so far
    refused to release the stateless Rohingyas from their citizenship limbo,
    despite international pressure to give them a legal status.
    Hundreds of Rohingyas are
    believed to have been killed and thousands displaced in attacks by Buddhist
    extremists.

    The extremists frequently attack
    Rohingyas and set fire to their homes in several villages in the western state
    of Rakhine.