Indonesian minister to raise Rohingya plight with Suu Kyi

A Muslim protester picks up a poster as fake blood is seen spattered on the ground after a theatrical act depicting the violence against Muslim Rohingya in western Myanmar performed during a rally on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The violence erupted on Aug. 25, when insurgents from the Rohingya ethnic minority attacked Myanmar police and paramilitary posts in what they said was an effort to protect minority Rohingya. In response, the military unleashed what it called "clearance operations" to root out the insurgents. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s president has called for an end to violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state and sent his foreign minister to discuss the plight of Rohingya Muslims with the country’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

There is mounting concern in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, about a military crackdown against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine that has forced tens of thousands to flee into Bangladesh.

At a press conference, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said he deplores the violence in Rakhine and promised humanitarian assistance.

“Real action is needed, not just statements and condemnations,” he said. “This violence and humanitarian crisis must end.”

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi flew to Myanmar on Sunday afternoon and plans to meet with several government figures including Suu Kyi.

The Foreign Ministry said Marsudi held talks Saturday (Sept. 2) with Indonesia’s major Muslim organizations, who called on Myanmar’s government to immediately restore security in Rakhine.

“Religious figures also stressed the importance of immediately stopping all forms of violence against Muslims and residents in Rakhine state and protecting the entire population of Myanmar,” the ministry said.

Marsudi will also travel to Bangladesh to inspect Indonesia’s efforts to provide aid to refugees from Myanmar.

Separately, dozens of police were guarding the Myanmar Embassy in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the mission early Sunday morning. No one was hurt.

Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono said the attack started a fire in the rear of the embassy on the second floor.

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  • Religious tensions continue throughout the world; but few Americans, obsessed with our own internecine spiritual warfare, will pay much attention to the more costly and brutal struggles affecting other nations, except those spiritual professionals who will engage either with rhetoric or compassionate material aid. Kudos to those who are able and willing to take such action.

  • I look at it as a majority persecuting a minority of different ethnicity. Suu Kyi has failed to address the problem and neighboring (Muslim) Bangladesh doesn’t want the refugees.

  • Please do not insert the word “persecuting” until we have a better picture of the intellectual discourse that preceded the violence!

    Please recall that Islam and Christianity have concepts like Satan, evangelization and martyr. As a result, Islam and Christianity have a reputation for setting up a bad intellectual discourse, including not being satisfied with such compromises as politicians are able to broker.

  • A better picture? This is a well-documented ongoing pattern of abuse perpertrated by Buddhists with not much opposition from the government. Latest reports show 300,000 displaced and many buildings burned down.

  • The data you are referring to is what happens once violence begins. That is too late. There is usually a generation or two of bad dialog before violence begins. You may recall that Jefferson predicted that the US Civil War would take place one or two generations later. How did Jefferson generate such an accurate prediction? Jefferson explained that bad dialog had led to the Missouri Compromise. And what is bad dialog? Intellectuals not having strong stomachs to make big decisions.