Demonstrators rally outside Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta to protest against Rohingya crackdown

People holding placards and banners gather outside the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta to protest against the oppression of Rohingya Muslims.
People holding placards and banners gather outside the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta to protest against the oppression of Rohingya Muslims.ST PHOTO: ARLINA ARSHAD
People holding placards and banners gather outside the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta to protest against the oppression of Rohingya Muslims.
People holding placards and banners gather outside the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta to protest against the oppression of Rohingya Muslims.ST PHOTO: ARLINA ARSHAD
People holding placards and banners gather outside the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta to protest against the oppression of Rohingya Muslims.
People holding placards and banners gather outside the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta to protest against the oppression of Rohingya Muslims.ST PHOTO: ARLINA ARSHAD
Protesters take part in a role-play outside the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta to protest against the oppression of Rohingya Muslims.
Protesters take part in a role-play outside the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta to protest against the oppression of Rohingya Muslims.ST PHOTO: ARLINA ARSHAD
People holding placards and banners gather outside the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta to protest against the oppression of Rohingya Muslims.
People holding placards and banners gather outside the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta to protest against the oppression of Rohingya Muslims.ST PHOTO: ARLINA ARSHAD

JAKARTA - More than 300 people gathered outside Myanmar's embassy in Jakarta on Friday (Nov 25) to protest against the oppression of the Rohingya Muslim ethnic minority.

During the "solidarity rally", protesters comprising mainly Muslim groups and student associations, demanded that Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi be stripped of her Nobel Peace Prize and the country be removed from the Asean grouping.

They also urged Indonesian President Joko Widodo to shut down the Myanmar Embassy in the capital and expel its ambassador to Indonesia.

The protesters, carrying giant banners urging "Save Rohingya Muslim from Slaughter" and "Stop Rohingya Genocide", shouted "Expel! Expel!" as several representatives using a loudhailer took turns making fiery speeches against the military crackdown.

"Our Muslim brothers and sisters there are being beaten, killed and raped, and shooed out of their country of birth. Let's pray for them," one of the protest leaders yelled.

 
 
 

The protesters prayed, sang, read poems, and performed a theatrical act showing a soldier beating Rohingya Muslims with a rifle while a woman wearing a mask with Ms Suu Kyi's face on it, looks on.

Student Sony Ahmad Nurfauzi, 25, told The Straits Times: "The Myanmarese military are cruel and brutal and have no consience. How could they harm children whom they should be protecting? I feel upset because I'm helpless and can't do anything."

He added: "Aung San Suu Kyi doesn't deserve to be called a champion of peace. How could she close an eye to all these atrocities and mass killing in her country?"

Up to 3,000 Indonesian police and military personnel were on standby to secure the demonstration, which took place after Friday prayers.

Similar protests were also held in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.

Scores of mostly stateless Rohingya Muslims have been killed in an army crackdown in Myanmar since early October, the latest military action against the minority group.

The United Nations refugee agency says that since 2012, well over 120,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine state, which is along the border with Bangladesh, despite the perilous sea journey.