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Monday, December 5, 2016

Myanmar to lodge official complaints against Najib

The Myanmar government will be issuing an official response to object Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s involvement at a protest yesterday in solidarity with the Rohingya people, according to a report.

The Myanmar Times quoted the country’s deputy director-general of the President’s Office U Zaw Htay saying so yesterday.

“Asean countries should respect the actions of Myanmar on the Rakhine State issue.”

“The new government is working on a solution to this issue. And I want to say again that the Malaysian government should respect the Asean charter,” he reportedly said.

U Zaw Htay claimed that Najib’s actions amounted to vote-seeking ahead of a general election, and could stoke religious tension.

He also reportedly accused the Malaysian media of not reporting the situation in the country’s Rakhine state accurately, where the Myanmar government had launched a crackdown on suspected militants following a series of deadly attacks on border guard posts since Oct 9.

He reportedly pointed to the creation of two commissions - one advisory, one investigative - as proof that the Myanmar government was intent on tackling the problems in the state transparently.

However, the daily also noted that journalists were barred from entering northern Rakhine, making it difficult to verify human rights groups’ claims of abuses, and the Myanmar government’s counterclaims.

The country does not recognise the predominantly Muslim minority as citizens, despite originating from Rakhine.

Yesterday, Najib, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, and some 10,000 people gathered at Stadium Mini Titiwangsa to protest the persecution of the Rohingyas.

This was despite warnings from Myanmar not to interfere in its domestic affairs, saying that this would be a violation of Asean’s policy of non-interference.

However, Najib had countered that Myanmar cannot look at the non-interference policy in isolation, but also account for the Asean Charter article that urged member states to uphold human rights.

“Are they (Myanmar) blind? They can't just interpret the Asean charter according to their own whims,” he said at yesterday’s rally. - Malaysiakini

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