Dalai Lama calls on Aung San Suu Kyi for peaceful end to Rakhine crisis

By AFP

NEW DEHLI — The Dalai Lama has urged State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in Rakhine State and expressed concerns about violence that has led around 300,000 Rohingya to flee the country.

The top Buddhist leader wrote to Myanmar’s de facto civilian leader, a fellow Nobel peace laureate, shortly after new violence erupted in Rakhine last month.

He urged her to “reach out to all sections of society” to try to resolve the crisis in Rakhine, where the stateless Rohingya community have endured decades of persecution.

“Questions that are put to me suggest that many people have difficulty reconciling what appears to be happening to Muslims there with Myanmar’s reputation as a Buddhist country,” he wrote in the letter, seen by AFP on Monday.

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

“I appeal to you and your fellow leaders to reach out to all sections of society to try to restore friendly relations throughout the population in a spirit of peace and reconciliation.”

The Dalai Lama is the latest Nobel peace laureate to speak out against the violence, which the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar says may have left more than 1,000 dead, most of them Rohingya.

Nobel laureates Malala Yousafzai and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have also urged her to intervene on behalf of the Rohingya.

“If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep,” said Tutu, who became the moral voice of South Africa after helping dismantle apartheid there.

The Dalai Lama said he had spoken to Aung San Suu Kyi in the past about religious tensions in her country and was urging her again to curb the violence.

“As a fellow Buddhist and Nobel laureate I am appealing to you and your colleagues once more to find a lasting and humane solution to this festering problem,” he wrote.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Myanmar enters 2021 with more friends than foes
The early delivery of vaccines is one of the many boons of the country’s geopolitics, but to really take advantage, Myanmar must bury the legacy of its isolationist past.
Will the Kayin BGF go quietly?
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.

Support our independent journalism and get exclusive behind-the-scenes content and analysis

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters.

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar