||Asean Affairs 28 May 2013
Aung San Suu Kyi slams 2-child limit for Rohingya Muslims
Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, rights groups and Islamic leaders expressed dismay on Monday over plans by authorities in western Myanmar to revive a two-child limit on Muslim Rohingya families, a policy that does not apply to Buddhists and comes amid accusations of ethnic cleansing.
Over the weekend, authorities in strife-torn Rakhine state said they were restoring a measure imposed during past military rule that banned Rohingya families from having more than two children. Details about the policy and how it will be enforced have not been released, sparking calls for clarity and concerns of more discrimination against a group the UN calls one of the world's most persecuted people.
"If true, this is against the law," said Ms Suu Kyi, the opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She has faced criticism for failing to defend the Rohingya following two waves of deadly sectarian violence last year. She told reporters she had not heard details of the latest measure but, if it exists, "it is discriminatory and also violates human rights."
The policy applies to two Rakhine townships that border Bangladesh and have the highest Muslim populations in the state. The townships, Buthidaung and Maungdaw, are about 95 per cent Muslim.