Rohingyas’ plight: Suu Kyi breaks silence

Updated 20 April 2013
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Rohingyas’ plight: Suu Kyi breaks silence

Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has lamented restrictions and estrangement of Muslims,
Addressing a press conference in Tokyo, she called for reforming citizenship laws to help the sizable minority to feel more secure in the Buddhist country.
Her comments came as activists express disappointment that Suu Ky has remained largely silent about several episodes of communal bloodshed.
The Rohingya have been described by the UN as one of the world's most persecuted minorities.
Suu Kyi said she has met with Muslim leaders and felt for their plight. "It's very sad because none of them had ever known any other country except for this one, except for Burma," she said.
"They did not feel they belonged anywhere else and you are just sad for them that they are made to feel they did not belong to our country either. This is a very sad state of affairs." But, she said: "With regard to whether or not Rohingya are citizens of the country, that depends very much on whether or not they meet the requirements of the citizenship law as they now exist.
"Then we must go on and assess this citizenship law to find out whether it is in line with the international standard," she said, stressing the importance of rule of law.
"We must learn to accommodate those with different views from ours," she said.
Chris Lewa, the Bangkok-based director of The Arakan Project, a non-governmental organisation that lobbies for the rights of the Rohingya told AFP that many Muslims in Myanmar were disappointed Suu Kyi had not been more forthright in their defense.
"People like Aung San Suu Kyi who have moral authority in Myanmar should be clearer about the rights of minorities," she said.


Japan halts missile drills after Trump-Kim summit

Updated 21 June 2018
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Japan halts missile drills after Trump-Kim summit

TOKYO: Japan has halted evacuation drills simulating a North Korean missile attack in the wake of historic talks between Washington and Pyongyang, local media reported Thursday.
Government officials did not immediately confirm the reports, but authorities in one town said they were suspending a drill planned for next week on orders from Tokyo.
The decision comes after US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un met last week in Singapore, with the pair signing a joint document calling for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Yaita in Tochigi prefecture north of Tokyo had been planning an evacuation drill for next week involving some 800 residents including 350 school children, city official Yutaka Yanagida said.
But the city suddenly canceled all preparations late Wednesday after being instructed by the government that “drills should be postponed for the time being following a change in the environment after the US-North Korea summit,” he said.
Contacted by AFP, a Cabinet Office official said the government would announce its policy on evacuation drills on Friday, declining to comment further.
Last year, Pyongyang fired two missiles over Japan and it has splashed others into the sea near the country, sparking a mix of panic and outrage.
Earlier this year, hundreds of Tokyo residents scrambled for cover in the Japanese capital’s first evacuation drill for a military attack by Pyongyang.
North Korea has singled out Japan, a key US ally in the region, for verbal attacks, threatening to “sink” the country into the sea and to turn it into “ashes.”
But the regional mood has turned toward diplomacy since the Winter Olympics hosted by South Korea, which set off a series of diplomatic moves culminating in the Trump-Kim meet.