World religious figures call for peaceful reconciliation in Rakhine state
World religious figures called for a peaceful reconciliation in religious and ethnic conflicts in Rakhine state, Myanmar, during their meeting with Myanmar's de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi last week.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo's special envoy for interfaith and civilization dialogue and cooperation, Din Syamsuddin, who is also former Muhammadiyah chairman, said the world religious leaders met with Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw on Friday.
They include three Buddhist figures, including Supreme Patriachs from Sri Lanka and Cambodia and Risho Kosakai from Japan; Bishop Gunnar Stalsett from Norway; Vinu Aram from India and Rev. Koichi Sugino, the vice secretary-general of New York-based Religions for Peace International.
“The religious leaders called to the government and the people of Myanmar to resolve the religious and ethnic conflicts in Myanmar in the spirit of humanity, peace and reconciliation,” Din said in a statement on Monday.
Din further said Aung San Su Ki welcomed them in “an open and intimate dialogue” where she stated that Myanmar had adopted democracy and therefore highly respected human rights and democratic values. She said the problems in Rakhine province and other areas in Myanmar would be resolved with a spirit of peace and reconciliation.
Din said the latest developments in Myanmar, especially in Rakhine state had raised concerns in the region and needed to be addressed appropriately.
”There was no other way to do it except to develop peaceful coexistence and the recognition of common citizenship for all people,” he said, adding that he had asked for recognition and citizenship rights for Rohingyas “who happened to be Muslim.”
The religious figures also proposed an international conference on Myanmar in October. The conference is expected offer solutions to justice-related issues in Myanmar .