Human rights defenders and urge Congress to take tougher action in response to the crisis in Rakhine state
The plight of hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya forced to flee Myanmar, has not received much attention in discussions of U.S. President Donald trump with the leaders of the countries of South-East Asia in the Philippines.
However, as expected, the U.S. Secretary Rex Tillerson will raise this issue during Wednesday’s visit to Myanmar, while the administration trump the urge to take a tougher stance on this issue.
As noted by the researcher MoE the Tuzara of the Singapore Institute of research South-East Asia. Usofa Isaac, this visit will testify about the sequence of US policy towards Myanmar and the interest of the administration in this country in the framework of the General policy towards Asia.
Although Tillerson will visit Myanmar for the first time and will become the highest-ranking representative of the current administration that caused the visit to this country, in September, he spoke by phone with Aung San Suu Kyi, who is state Councilor and Minister for foreign Affairs of Myanmar, and met with her on Tuesday on the sidelines of the summits in Manila.
In Nay Pyi Taw Tillerson will hold talks with Aung San Suu Kyi and head of the armed forces of Myanmar Min Aung, Hlina.
Calls to action
More than 600 000 Muslim Rohingya have fled from Rakhine state in Myanmar on 25 August, after an attack of militants on security forces, causing a tough military response that some have called ethnic cleansing.
Tillerson, who said last month that “the world cannot turn a blind eye” to reports of atrocities against Rohingya people, emphatically lays the blame on the Myanmar armed forces, not the government Advisor, who after a victory on elections of 2015 divides power with the military.
Although Aung San Suu Kyi criticized because it bypasses the problem of Rohingya, many Western States will refrain from strong pressure in the difficult period of transition to democracy.
During the meetings with the Myanmar authorities Tillerson plans to Express concern about the violence against Rohingya and their forced escape from the country, said a senior state Department official, noting that Aung San Suu Kyi has shown a willingness to develop a solution.
Tillerson also assured Myanmar U.S. support and urge the government to protect the local population, to ensure unfettered access in Rakhine state to obtain reliable information about the situation, and create a safe environment for the return of refugees.
Us lawmakers proposed a bill on targeted sanctions against the interests of the military administration, however, trump has not yet supported such a move. Tillerson, though, and expressed concern about violence in the October interview with Min Aung by Hlina, do not call what is happening ethnic cleansing.
As the Director of British organization in support of Myanmar Burma Campaign UK mark Farmaner, trump administration “made very little effort to put pressure on the government or military of Burma over Rohingya crisis”, and the upcoming visit will be an important indicator of the US position.
“If you don’t to demonstrate a tough stance, the military will take it as a sign of weakness and as permission to continue the oppression, – said the expert. – Tillerson needs to understand Aung San Suu Kyi that her government should stop the policy of denial and to promise to grant the Rohingya full citizenship, if it wants to continue to receive support from the United States.”