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Burmese opposition leaders call for resolution to deadly ethnic conflict

Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and MPs from ethnic minority parties are calling on the government to deploy more troops to restore peace and stability in a western state hit by deadly violence between Buddhists and Muslims.

They issued a statement yesterday urging the government to explain its policies on handling the ethnic conflict in ­Rakhine state, where officials say about 90 people were killed last month and more than 30,000 made homeless.

They stressed that the concerns of both groups – Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims – should be addressed.

In June, about the same number of people were killed and 75,000 were made homeless.

Ms Suu Kyi has emphasised the necessity of restoring the rule of law in the region and dealing with the root causes of the tensions.

Many of her foreign supporters have been disappointed that she has not taken a stand condemning discrimination toward the Rohingya, who have suffered many of the casualties and losses.

Yesterday’s statement also said that a 1982 Citizenship Law that lays out conditions for treating the Rohingya as Burmese nationals should be reviewed. It is highly restrictive and leaves the huge majority of an estimated population of 800,000 Rohingya effectively stateless.

 

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