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Debate over Myanmar violence rejected

 | November 8, 2012

The Dewan Rakyat Speaker felt that the issue had already been addressed by the Foreign Ministry.

KUALA LUMPUR: A motion to debate the bloody ethnic riots ongoing in Myanmar has been rejected by the Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia in his Chambers today.

Filed by PKR-Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar on Tuesday, the intended debate would have focused on the violence there, which has already seen almost 200 people dead and nearly 30,000 people displaced.

Speaking to FMT, Nurul said that her motion was rejected because the Foreign Ministry had already addressed the matter through various public statements.

“It’s insufficient. It’s bad enough that we have a very inactive Foreign Ministry, with its reactions over the state-involved killings in Syria not up to mark,” she said, referring to the Syrian civil war.

According to a June 17 press release, the Foreign Ministry said that it was “concerned” with the ongoing violence in Myanmar.

It said that Malaysia welcomed the declaration of a state of emergency in Rakhine, Myanmar, by President Thein Sein and the establishment of a investigation committee to probe the cause of the conflict.

Malaysia, it added, was also ready to extend humanitarian aid to those it deemed in need.

She worried that the violence in the region would create a spillover of sorts, affecting the region.

In her letter to the Speaker, Nurul said that it was important that Malaysia – as an Asean member – not keep silent over the riots, which erupted in June this year.

She said that the Myanmar government was reportedly stonewalling humanitarian aid being sent to the area, a worrying development.

At the same time, she also criticised pro-democracy leader Aung Sun Suu Kyi for not specifically condemning riots, which are seeing sectarian clashes between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims.

“When a human rights violation against a minority group is taking place, condemnation and critique must come. It is irresponsible and shocking of Suu Kyi to say the least,” she said.


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