Dalai Lama urges Myanmar monks to shun violence

Updated 22 September 2013
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Dalai Lama urges Myanmar monks to shun violence

PRAGUE: The Dalai Lama on Tuesday urged Myanmar monks to act according to their Buddhist principles, in a plea to end the deadly violence against the country’s Muslim minority.
“Those Burmese monks, please, when they develop some kind of anger toward Muslim brothers and sisters, please, remember the Buddhist faith,” the Buddhist leader told reporters at an annual human rights conference in the Czech capital Prague.
“I am sure (...) that would protect those Muslim brothers and sisters who are becoming victims,” Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader said.
Sectarian clashes in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine last year left around 200 people dead, mostly Rohingya Muslims who are denied citizenship, and 140,000 others homeless. Having earned scorn for her failure to clearly condemn the violence, Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s pro-democracy icon turned opposition leader, said last week she alone could not stop it.


Dozens of Rohingya come ashore in Indonesia

Updated 13 min 32 sec ago
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Dozens of Rohingya come ashore in Indonesia

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia: About 80 Rohingya in a wooden boat arrived in Indonesia Friday, officials said, the latest batch of the vulnerable minority to come ashore in the world’s biggest Muslim majority nation.
The group landed in Aceh province on Sumatra island, just weeks after dozens of the persecuted Muslim minority from Myanmar came ashore in neighboring Malaysia.
All appeared to be in good condition, according to local police chief Riza Yulianto, who added that it was not clear how long they had been at sea.
“Thank God they’re all healthy even though a few are just children,” he said.
“We have given them food and we are thoroughly checking their health one by one.”
It has been rare for Rohingya migrants to attempt the sea routes south since Thai authorities clamped down on regional trafficking networks in 2015, sparking a crisis across Southeast Asia as large numbers were abandoned at sea.
But there have been concerns desperate migrants might start taking to the high seas again after mainly Buddhist Myanmar launched a new crackdown last year that forced about 700,000 members of the Muslim minority to flee to Bangladesh.
This month, a group including two Rohingya men, aged 28 and 33, a 20-year-old woman, a 15-year-old girl and an eight-year old boy were spotted in a small boat off the coast of southern Thailand and Myanmar, some 325 kilometers (176 miles) from Aceh.
Local Indonesian fishermen took them back to Aceh where they were later taken into custody by immigration officials.
The group said they had been traveling with two dozen other Rohingya but got separated and were stranded at sea for about 20 days.
They had gotten lost with five others who later starved to death and their bodies were thrown overboard, officials said at the time.
In 2015, hundreds of Rohingya came ashore in Aceh, where they were welcomed in the staunchly conservative Islamic province.
Indonesia tends to accept asylum seekers but they are usually barred from working and often spend years in immigration centers.