Rakhine state issue is delicate and needs to be addressed with caution: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Myanmar’s State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi agreed yesterday to cooperate in efforts to end ethnic conflict in Myanmar, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.
The two held talks in Tokyo on several issues including bilateral relations, challenges in the region, ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty-CTBT and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to be hosted by Myanmar in 2017.
Referring to recent reports of deadly attacks on border guard posts by violent armed attackers in Rakhine State, Kishida told Daw Aung San Suu Kyi: “Any sort of violence should not be tolerated, and I welcome (your) efforts for the peace and stability of Rakhine state,” according to the ministry.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said the situation in Rakhine state is extremely delicate and needs to be addressed with caution, adding that the government is dealing with it under the principle of the rule of law, according to the ministry.
Armed men waged surprise attacks on border guard posts in northern Rakhine State on October 14, killing nine and stealing guns and ammunition.
Following the attacks, the President’s Office issued a news release on 14 October saying that the series of violent attacks were aimed at inciting terrorism in the area, where many Islamists reside. The news release also said the attacks were conspired by Rohingya Solidarity Organsation (RSO)-linked terrorist groups after taking a lengthy period of time to organize them and aided by foreign-based terrorist groups.
In the talks in Tokyo yesterday, Kishida said Japan will offer a new passenger boat to Myanmar with the aim of supporting its efforts to ease inter-communal tensions in Rakhine, the ministry said.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi told Kishida that the ship will not only help transport people in Rakhine but also contribute to the development of the state, which faces the Indian Ocean.
There is a dire need for ships in Myanmar because they are often the primary mode of transport. There have also been a number of deadly sinkings in recent years, so safe boats are in demand, a senior Japanese official said earlier.
Kishida, welcoming Myanmar’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in September, agreed with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to promote the enforcement of the treaty, the ministry said.
The CTBT aims to establish a verifiable global ban on all types of nuclear explosive tests.
Kishida and (Daw) Aung San Suu Kyi met a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to offer 40 billion yen ($387 million) in aid over five years to fund Myanmar’s efforts at national reconciliation.
Later on Thursday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi traveled by Shinkansen train to Kyoto, where she received an honorary doctorate conferred by Kyoto University where she spent time as she did research at its Center for Southeast Asian Studies from 1985 to 1986.
The president of Kyoto University, Juichi Yamagiwa, in his speech at the award ceremony, said it was the first time the university had conferred such a degree on an individual for their commitment to freedom, democracy and human rights.
“This honorary degree expresses the respect the Kyoto University holds for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s work and achievements, which resonate with the university’s guiding principles that encourage freedom of thought and the promotion of a harmonious global society,” Yamagiwa added.
“Advancement is a correct word because we have not yet reached our goal. In a sense, with democracy, we can never reach our goal. Our goal has to be beyond reaching because we have to keep working toward,” she said in her acceptance speech.
“Once we stop working for democracy, the democracy will fade away, just like the unused muscles. We have to keep it exercised all the time. I keep reminding our people what is important for us is not just to claim the democratic privileges but also to discharge their democratic duties, that we may be able to make our society a vibrant one — politically, socially and economically.”—Global New Light of Myanmar with Kyodo News