Alwaght- Activists gathered in Sydney to protest visit of Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to Australia as the Buddhist regime of Myanmar is internationally blamed for "ethnic cleansing" of Rohingya Muslim minority.
Thousands of angry protesters took to the streets of Sydney on Saturday, demonstrating against Suu Kyi’s participation at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) special meeting.
Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Friday that he would raise the issue of the Rohingya crisis with Suu Kyi during her three-day visit.
During the Saturday protest, a spokesperson for Australian Rohingya community urged the ASEAN leaders to help “find a durable and humane solution” to the Rohingya crisis.
“We hope that the ASEAN leaders, including Australian government will take the right decision to defend human rights and to work continuously with Myanmar leaders and with Rohingya leaders to include them in the discussion to find a durable and humane solution. Not just what suits them,” Sujauddin Karimuddin said.
A group of Australian lawyers also on Saturday sought to have Suu Kyi prosecuted on charges of crimes against humanity. However, Australian Attorney General Christian Porter rejected their legal application, saying she "has complete immunity, including from being served with court documents."
Protesters and rights groups also singled out Cambodian strongman Hun Sen's regime for committing human rights violations. The Cambodian leader threatened violence against demonstrators before arriving in Sydney.
Victorian lawmaker Hong Lim of the Labor party accused Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of turning a blind-eye to human rights abuses, saying: "Many of the hands he's shaking yesterday, today and tomorrow are hands full of blood."
Backed by Myanmar’s regime and Buddhist mobs, the Myanmarese military launched a deadly crackdown against minority Rohingya Muslims in the western state of Rakhine in late 2016. It intensified that campaign in August last year.
Only in its first month, the clampdown, called by the UN and prominent rights group an “ethnic cleansing campaign,” killed some 6,700 Rohingya Muslims, including more than 700 children, according to Doctors Without Borders.
About 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have also fled Rakhine to neighboring Bangladesh since August last year.