The Straits Times
Published on Nov 18, 2012

'Disturbing' violence in Myanmar: Asean chief


PHNOM PENH (AFP) - Asean chief Surin Pitsuwan said on Sunday that Rohingya Muslims in western Myanmar were the victims of "disturbing" ethnic violence, but stopped short of calling the bloodshed genocide.

A wave of violence in western Rakhine state between Buddhists and minority Rohingya Muslims has left at least 180 dead and displaced more than 110,000 people since June, overshadowing political reforms in the country.

"I would call it a disturbing trend of ethnic violence that could become destabilising to the region," Mr Surin said in Phnom Penh at a summit of the 10-member Asean.

"I have already given out a warning that it could be radicalised. That would not be good to anybody in the region."