Thousands of protesters marched to the Burmese embassy in Kuala Lumpur calling for an end to the persecution of the Rohingyan Muslim minorities on July 15, 2016. Image via @PAS Pusat
SEVERAL thousand protesters marched to the Burmese (Myanmar) embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Friday to denounce the treatment of the Rohingya Muslim minority in the predominantly Buddhist country.
Local reports say about 5,000 people took part in the rally to submit a memorandum to the Burmese mission in the Malaysian capital, but other estimates place the number at around 2,000 protesters who carried banners calling for the end of Burma's alleged silence on systematic genocide and persecution of Muslims in Rakhine state.
Image via @PAS Pusat
The procession, which was organised by Malaysia's Pan Islamic Party (PAS) and other non-governmental organisations, began after Friday prayers at the Tabung Haji mosque on Jalan Tun Razak at about 2pm, before the crowd made its way to the embassy some 2 kilometers away from where they gathered.
According to local newspaper Sinar Harian, the memorandum addressed to the Burmese government called for the country to recognize the rights of the stateless Rohingyas.
Sectarian violence, which erupted in 2012, has seen dozens of Muslim Rohingyas killed by vigilante mobs comprising hardline Buddhist nationalist groups and followers, with thousands more displaced.
However, PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who was present at the rally, said the Burmese embassy did not send a representative to accept the protest note, adding he was disappointed that the envoy "turned a cold shoulder" to the crowd.
"We urge the ambassador to Kuala Lumpur to apologize for failing to send a representative," he said.
"They should at least send some one to receive the memorandum."
He said PAS also condemned the Burmese government and its leaders for their alleged silence on the killing of Rohingyas and the violation of their human rights.
Tuan Man also called on the Malaysian and ASEAN governments, as well as Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) member states, to take action on the matter.
"The governments must discuss the issue in ASEAN (meetings) to resolve the issue of refugees who have created a burden in other countries," he said.