Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called on Islamic governments to exert political and economic pressure on Myanmar’s “cruel” government to make it stop a deadly crackdown on minority Rohingya Muslims in the Southeast Asian country.
According to Press TV, speaking on Tuesday, Ayatollah Khamenei urged practical measures by Islamic governments to end the crisis in Myanmar.
“Of course, practical measures don’t mean military deployments. Rather, they (Islamic governments) have to increase their political, economic, and trade pressure on Myanmar’s government and cry out against these crimes in international organizations,” the Leader said.
Myanmar’s government has laid a siege to a western state where the Rohingya Muslims are concentrated. There, horrific violence has been taking place against the minority Muslims, according to reports and eyewitnesses.
Soldiers and extremist Buddhists have reportedly been killing or raping the Muslims and setting their homes on fire. The Myanmarese government says 400 people, mostly Muslims, have died in the latest bout of violence. The UN says the actual number likely tops 1,000.
Ayatollah Khamenei strongly criticized the silence and inaction of international bodies and self-proclaimed human rights advocates on the ongoing atrocities in Myanmar.
The Leader said the crisis in Myanmar is a political issue and should not be reduced to a religious conflict between Muslims and Buddhists although religious prejudice may have been involved.
“This is a political issue because the party that has been carrying out the atrocities is Myanmar’s government, at the top of which is a cruel woman who has won the Nobel Peace Prize. And with these incidents, the death of the Nobel Peace Prize has been spelled,” he said.
“The world today is the world of oppression, and the Islamic Republic has to maintain this honor for itself to speak out against oppression anywhere in the world, whether over territories occupied by Zionists, or in Bahrain, or Yemen, or Myanmar,” he said.