Pope urges Aung San Suu Kyi to respect 'each ethnic group' in Burma

Pope Francis has met Burma's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and told her the country's future depends on respecting the rights of "each ethnic group".

It was an indirect show of support for Rohingya Muslims who have been subject to decades of state-supported discrimination and recently a violent military crackdown in Burma.

Francis did not cite the crackdown or even say the contested word "Rohingya" in his speech to Ms Suu Kyi, but he lamented how Burma's people have suffered "and continue to suffer from civil conflict and hostilities", and insisted that everyone who calls Burma home deserves to have basic rights guaranteed.

[media=digiteka]v5qrqu[/media]

He said Burma's future must be based on "respect for the dignity and rights of each member of society, respect for each ethnic group and its identity".

Ms Suu Kyi thanked Francis for his support for what she said are the many "challenges" the country is facing, taking his visit as a sign of encouragement as she faces international criticism for the military crackdown on the Rohingya.

In a speech to Francis and Burmese diplomats, she did not refer to the more than 620,000 Rohingya who have been driven out of Rakhine to Bangladesh after the military began what it called "clearance operations" following militant attacks in August.

She said she appreciates those who are supporting the government as it address long-standing social, economic and political issues "that have eroded trust and understanding, harmony and co-operation".

She added that the government's aim is to protect rights, foster tolerance and ensure security for all.


More in this Section

Chimpanzee lip smacks offer new insight into the evolution of human speechChimpanzee lip smacks offer new insight into the evolution of human speech

Police interview witness over Dominic Cummings’ alleged lockdown breachPolice interview witness over Dominic Cummings’ alleged lockdown breach

Widower demands deletion of Donald Trump tweets suggesting his wife was murderedWidower demands deletion of Donald Trump tweets suggesting his wife was murdered

Video shows US officer kneeling on neck of black man who diedVideo shows US officer kneeling on neck of black man who died


Lifestyle

Simple storage solutions for the DIY rookie.8 simple steps to putting up a shelf

Yes, many of us have succumbed to the ‘Covid stone’ and may be trying to lose it but we all need a treat from time to time. Our recipes here incorporate tasty fruits like blueberries, apricots and almonds while Derval’s lime, chocolate and oat biscuits are a delicious and yet healthy sweet treat option.Food and Fun: Take some time out for treats

“Do you know what penguins smell like?” Landscape painter Nicholas Romeril asks, and then laughs at his own question.Nicholas Romeril: Antarctic ice-olation was the perfect training for lockdown

No. Such a small word, but a powerful one.Normal People recap: Bad sex and a sad funeral

More From The Irish Examiner