Thursday, June 06, 2019

Myanmar's new friends

The leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, has found a new ally in the far-right, staunchly anti-immigrant Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel peace prize laureate once lauded as the great democratic hope for Myanmar and  the figurehead of the fight for democracy in Myanmar, met Orbán in Budapest and the two leaders found common ground on the subject of immigration and Islam.

“The two leaders highlighted that one of the greatest challenges at present for both countries and their respective regions – south-east Asia and Europe – is migration,” read a statement released after their meeting. They noted that both regions have seen the emergence of the issue of co-existence with continuously growing Muslim populations.”

“Aung San Suu Kyi has fallen so astonishingly far from being the darling of the EU that she now counts a meeting with Orban, the pariah of Europe, as an important accomplishment,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch. “After shamefully helping the Myanmar military cover up their genocide against Rohingya Muslims, now she’s glad-handing and making friends with Europe’s most xenophobic, anti-democratic leader.”

Robertson added: “The message of this meeting to Brussels should be clear: Myanmar is not listening to your quiet diplomatic niceties.”

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