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November 24 2017, 09:58 | Irvin Gilbert
Malala calls for defence of Rohingya
Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has stood out against Myanmar's de facto leaderAung San Suu Kyi, condemning her for the treatment of the minority Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar.
"I still think that she is the same Aung San Suu Kyi that won the Nobel Peace Prize she will wake up to that person", he said.
Witnesses in Myanmar's Rakhine state say entire villages have been burned to the ground since Rohingya militants launched a series of coordinated attacks on Aug 25, prompting a military-led crackdown.
"When Aung San Suu Kyi was in Ottawa, I expressed our deep concern for the situation the Rohingya were in then", Trudeau said, pledging to continue putting pressure on the Myanmar government to intervene and end the bloodshed.
The leader of Burma's National League for a Democracy, was given the prestigious award in 1991 for campaigning to make her country a democracy.
The crisis is triggered by Muslim extremists' violent attacks against Myanmar's governmental forces, and the latter were pressured to take retaliatory actions.
"We are friendless in our own country: because we are racially different, we are religiously different and our appearance is different", says Tun Khin, a United Kingdom -based Rohingya Muslim activist whose family fled an earlier wave of violence to Bangladesh.
This week, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres advised getting to the root causes to solve the crisis.
Ms Suu Kyi has attracted criticism from around the world for failing to speak out about the violence. Otherwise, he said, the violence could spread throughout Rakhine and around the country. But what some have called "ethnic cleansing" and others "a slow genocide" has persisted - and recently accelerated'.
"The Rohingya fleeing Myanmar are now stateless refugees, making them even more vulnerable and adding more challenges to the search for solution", said the UNHCR spokesperson. "A country that is not at peace with itself, that fails to acknowledge and protect the dignity and worth of all its people, is not a free country", says Tutu in his open letter.
'We pray for you to speak out for justice, human rights and the unity of your people'.
Retired Bishop Tutu issued a letter to Suu Kyi, his fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in which he admonished her for not speaking out, despite her own years as a dissident prisoner.
Though they have been present in Buddhist-majority Burma since pre-colonial times, the Rohingya are often referred to as "Bengalis", alluding to the myth they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
Myanmar's government claims it merely was responding to a terrorist provocation when it unleashed an appalling assault on a deeply persecuted minority population that can only be described as genocide.
But more than 386,000 have now signed an petition on the website Change.org calling for the award to be revoked. The UN estimates that at least 1,000 people have been killed in the violence, and over a quarter of a million have fled across the border to neighboring Bangladesh.
Protesters rallied Friday in Jakarta, shouting "God is great", while in Tokyo, police had to separate those who support the Rohingya from counterprotesters who call them terrorists.