Indonesia minister to urge Myanmar to end Rohingya plight

Protesters in support of Myanmar's Rohingya community in Jakarta yesterday. Another rally had been held at the Myanmar embassy the day before. A small fire broke out at the embassy in the early hours yesterday after a petrol bomb was hurled at it.
Protesters in support of Myanmar's Rohingya community in Jakarta yesterday. Another rally had been held at the Myanmar embassy the day before. A small fire broke out at the embassy in the early hours yesterday after a petrol bomb was hurled at it.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA • Indonesian President Joko Widodo has sent his foreign minister to Myanmar to urge its government to halt violence against Rohingya Muslims, he said yesterday after a petrol bomb was thrown at the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta.

The embassy attack, which police said caused a small fire, came in the early hours yesterday against the backdrop of mounting anger in Indonesia, home to the world's biggest Muslim population, over violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

After the fire was extinguished, police found a shattered beer bottle with a wick attached, the statement said, adding that the unknown perpetrator is suspected to have driven away from the scene in a car.

Jakarta police are investigating the incident, spokesman Argo Yuwono said.

They have yet to discover the motive behind the attack.

A group of activists on Saturday held a protest at the embassy, calling for the Nobel Prize committee to withdraw the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Indonesia state news agency Antara reported.

Protests continued yesterday in Jakarta's city centre, with dozens of people from Islamic groups calling for the Indonesian government to be actively involved in solving alleged human rights violations against the Rohingya community.

Mr Joko said he has sent Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to Myanmar to hold "intensive communications" with involved parties, including the United Nations.

"Earlier this afternoon, the Foreign Minister departed to Myanmar to ask the Myanmar government to stop and prevent violence, to provide protection to all citizens, including Muslims in Myanmar, and to give access to humanitarian aid," Mr Joko said.

He added that concrete actions are needed and the Indonesian government is committed to helping to solve the humanitarian crisis.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2017, with the headline 'Indonesia minister to urge Myanmar to end Rohingya plight'. Print Edition | Subscribe