The United States on Tuesday urged Myanmar’s civilian leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to promote an inclusive election and renewed its concern over the marginalization of the Rohingya minority.
In a telephone call to Suu Kyi, US State Department number three Mr David Hale voiced support for democracy in Myanmar and called for a “credible, transparent and inclusive national election” on November 8.
Hale “pressed the Burmese government to end conflict across the country and secure the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of Rohingya and other refugees and internally displaced persons,” a State Department statement said, using Myanmar’s former name Burma.
Nearly two million people have been disenfranchised in the election – notably the Rohingya, a mostly Muslim people denied citizenship and targeted in a brutal campaign that has led to Myanmar facing genocide charges before the UN’s top court.
Electoral authorities have also excluded swathes of minority-heavy areas from the vote, ostensibly due to security concerns.
The election is only the second since the end of outright rule by the military, which for years kept Suu Kyi under house arrest.
After her triumphant accession to power, Aung San Suu Kyi has lost her iconic status in the West with governments that once backed her. They are now dismayed by her equivocal statements on the campaign against the Rohingya.