News / Asia

ASEAN Chief Fears Radicalization of Burma's Rohingya

ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan arrives at the 20th ASEAN summit at the Peace Palace in the Office of the Council of Ministers in Phnom Penh, April 2, 2012.
ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan arrives at the 20th ASEAN summit at the Peace Palace in the Office of the Council of Ministers in Phnom Penh, April 2, 2012.
VOA News
The head of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is warning that ongoing sectarian violence in western Burma could radicalize minority Rohingya Muslims and threaten the stability of the region.

ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan called for the international community to intervene in Burma's western Rakhine state, where dozens have been killed and tens of thousands displaced in the latest outbreak of fighting between Buddhists and Muslims.

"ASEAN can certainly spearhead a humanitarian engagement just to help the people to relieve the pressure, to relieve the suffering and the pain," he said. "Then there are other issues, that is beyond ASEAN that has to be taken up by the international community, by the global institution like the UN. It's the issue of political reconciliation inside.  The world must encourage the issue of constitutionality.''

Surin said the 10-nation bloc is in a position to offer aid to Burma, but unless the situation is resolved quickly, Burma's 1.5-million Rohingyas could become radicalized, something he says could jeopardize the economic security of South and East Asia.

The United Nations says 22,000 people have been displaced since last week in western Rakhine state.  The Burmese government says the fighting has left more than 2,800 houses burned and 67 people dead.

Human Rights Watch fears the death toll is far higher, based on the accounts of witnesses fleeing the fighting, which it says has disproportionately targeted Muslims.

The U.N. said last week that the violence threatens to undermine the reforms enacted by Burma's new nominally civilian government.  It called on Burmese authorities to bring lawlessness and vigilante attacks under control and to put a stop to threats and extremist rhetoric.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid