Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is in Europe for the first time since 1988. The two-week long trip will include visits to Switzerland, Norway, Great Britain, France and Ireland. On Saturday, June 16, she gave her-long overdue Nobel acceptance speech in Norway for the peace prize she was awarded in 1991.
“While Aung San Suu Kyi is in Europe for a landmark visit, the sectarian clashes between majority Buddhists and minority Muslims in Rakhine state in western Myanmar are not far from her mind,” says Suzanne DiMaggio, Vice President of Global Policy Programs at Asia Society. “The violence has left at least 17 people dead and driven an estimated 30,000 Muslims from their homes. Ms. Suu Kyi has joined Thein Sein’s government, which has imposed a state of emergency, in calling for calm."
"Against the backdrop of the current Rohingya crisis, resolving ethnic conflicts in Myanmar is one of the most difficult challenges facing President Thein Sein and his government. As Myanmar is in the process of a still-fragile period of transition, long simmering ethnic and religious divisions could undermine hard-won reforms. Ultimately, if the government wants to bring about lasting stability, the plight of the stateless Rohingya population must be part of a comprehensive reconciliation program."
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