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Mizzima: Burma tells Asean Rakhine State unrest is ‘internal matter’

Burma tells Asean Rakhine State unrest is ‘internal matter’

Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan told the media on Tuesday that he tried to create a consensus within the regional grouping to address the unrest in Burma’s Rakhine State but the effort failed, after Burma declined to give its consent.

In Kuala Lampur, Surin said Asean’s lack of consensus to address the issue was not a failure, because there were member states that agreed with his call for a meeting.

“I have written to the foreign ministers of Asean, urging them to meet and address the Rohingya issue and the Asean chair, headed by the Cambodian foreign minister, has agreed with me and issued a letter calling for a meeting on the matter, but it was not a consensus,” he said, in an article posted on the Bernama website on Tuesday. “Myanmar believes that it’s an internal matter.”

Surin said: “But as I said, your internal matter could be ours, the next day, if you are not careful.

“Certainly [the effort] is not a total failure because I am here to articulate…there are member states that agree with me, but we need a consensus,” he told the media after delivering a lecture on Tuesday.