News / Asia

OIC Delegation Greeted by Protests in Burma

Buddhist monks hold banners reading
Buddhist monks hold banners reading "OIC Get Out" as they protest against the arrival of a delegation from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, at the airport in Rangoon, Burma, Nov. 13, 2013.
VOA News
A delegation from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been greeted with protests in Burma.

The group, including ministers from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Djubouti arrived Wednesday to assess the situation of Burma's minority Muslim community, which has been involved in clashes with Buddhists in western Rakhine State.

Hundreds of Buddhists, including dozens of monks, demonstrated outside the Rangoon airport, accusing the OIC of being biased in favor of the country's minority Muslim community. The protest took place peacefully.

A spokesman for Burmese President Thein Sein, Ye Htut, told VOA's Burmese service the visit will have a very narrow focus.

"The visit is not about, as the news is spreading out, opening an OIC branch office in Burma and recognizing "Bengalis" as an ethnic nationality under the name of "Rohingya". We have arranged this visit for them to simply witness the situation of peace and stability and reconstruction in Rakhine State."

He was referring to a controversy over the name of Muslims in Rakhine State. The government calls them "Bengali" because most came from neighboring Bangladesh several generations ago. But the local Muslims want to be identified as a specific ethnic minority called Rohingya.

Violence last year between Muslims and Buddhists left more than 200 dead and more than 100,000 homeless, mostly from the minority Rohingya community.

Ye Htut says the OIC delegation will meet with Burmese officials starting Thursday, but they will not hold talks with President Thein Sein. The OIC told VOA last week that its delegation would meet with Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. But her National League for Democracy says no such meeting will take place.

(This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese service.)

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by: Richard from: US
November 18, 2013 11:49 PM
OIC should seek the right solution regarding the root causes of today illegal Rohingya issues with Bangladesh . It is a foolish decision that OIC picked up Burma and tried to force upon Burma regarding the issues of citizenship for its 800,000 Rohingya .
In fact It is not Burma problem, it is Bangladesh problem. If Burma accept these illegal Rohingya as Burma citizen, there are millions waiting to flood Burma and boat people from Bangladesh ,south east Asia will not disappear and Australia government is already know that and put in preventive measure in place, yet international community is pressuring Burma to take in all of the illegal people in Burma to save Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia. Here is logic question, why are not these people run to Bangladesh which is much closer and safer than crossing Indian ocean to go to Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia? They already speak Bangladesh language. At least be honest with the international community. Burma has been unfairly painted as evil society by these people.

by: Richard from: US
November 16, 2013 8:47 PM
OIC has never once tried to solve the
similar problems between the Muslims and Buddhists
in neighbouring Bangladesh where the 60-years long
Buddhist Genocide has been going on so long at
such intensity that Buddhist population there has
been reduced from a substantial 20% in the 1950s
to a negligible 0.7% today.Something very similar
to what Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu's Turkey did to her
1.5 million Armenians in now almost forgotten 1915
Armenian Genocide.
Now the Islamists want Burma to let those
Bengali-Muslims come into Burma and wipe-out the
Buddhist population here as in Bangladesh.
Rohingya are trying to dominate Arakan State by
their Rohingya human population explosion . .
UN, OIC ,HRW,INGO,NGO and world communities should
not have blind eyes on Rohingya human population
explosion and this is the real threat in Burma.
The only solution is to resettle all Rohingya to OIC
countries.

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