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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 10:39 AM | 03-06-2015

ASEAN urged to pressure Myanmar over Rohingya crisis

The president of the Asian Conference of Religions for Peace (ACRP), Din Syamsuddin, has said ASEAN should put pressure on Myanmar to resolve the problem of Rohingya refugees stranded in Indonesia.

“Myanmar is also an ASEAN member country. As an ASEAN member country, Myanmar should not act in a way that can cause harm to other member countries,” he was quoted as saying by Antara news agency after the opening of the ACRP executive committee meeting at Merdeka Building in Bandung, West Java, on Wednesday (3 June 2015).

Din said he was apprehensive about the fate of the Rohingya, who were adrift at sea for months before becoming stranded off Indonesia’s coasts.

“Could you imagine that hundreds and even thousands of human beings have been stranded in Indonesian territory?” said the ACRP president, who is also the chairman of Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization, Muhammadiyah.

He said the circumstances faced by the Rohingya were contrary to state ideology Pancasila, especially the principles of humanity and social justice.

“Therefore, the Indonesian government must accept and assist the Rohingya Muslims,” said Din.

“Indonesia should even provide one of its islands to house Rohingya refugees. Indonesia has 17,000 islands and only 50 percent of the total islands are inhabited. Thus, I think lending only one of its islands to the refugees won’t be a problem,” he said.

Muslim and Buddhist religious leaders from Myanmar are reportedly attending the ACRP executive committee meeting. “They are present as speakers in this conference. Let’s see whether or not they will speak about solutions to the Rohingya refugee crisis,” said Din, who is also the chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI)

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