PETALING JAYA: Tenaganita co-director Aegile Fernandez has challenged Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to meet the Rohingya community here when she visits Malaysia in August.
Speaking to FMT, Fernandez said her NGO would be happy to arrange a meeting between Suu Kyi and the Rohingya refugees.
“If she can do that, it will be wonderful. Let them tell their side of the story.”
A renowned political figure, Suu Kyi, who became an icon for challenging decades of military rule in her homeland, has been widely criticised for not speaking up for the Rohingya community in the country.
More recently, she told the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights that her government would not even use the term “Rohingya” because it viewed it as inflammatory.
Fernandez went on to state that a dialogue with the Rohingya community “would be the best time” for Suu Kyi to state her stance on the conflict between the Rohingya community, a majority of whom are Muslim, and radical Buddhists.
The international community, she claimed, has been waiting for her to take some proactive action.
As someone who has received several human rights awards, Suu Kyi should fulfil her promises to safeguard her people, Fernandez added.
“This is very important. The Rohingyas are part of Myanmar and it’s not right for the government to push them off.”
According to the 1982 Myanmar Citizenship law, Rohingyas are considered stateless. At present, there are 1.1 million Rohingyas living in apartheid-like conditions in Rakhine.
It was reported yesterday that Suu Kyi was expected to meet with Myanmar migrant workers when she visits Malaysia in August.
The Myanmar Times quoted government spokesperson U Zaw Htay as saying that two bilateral agreements on Myanmar migrant workers were also expected to be signed during her visit.
There are an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 Myanmar migrant workers in Malaysia, most of them without legal documents.