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All eyes on Rohingyas as Pope arrives Thursday

Pope Francis who called for unity in Myanmar without saying ‘Rohingya’, arrives in Dhaka on Thursday on a three-day state visit carrying a message of harmony, peace, reconciliation and forgiveness.

 

A planned meeting with a small group of Rohingyas is expected to be a high point during the Pope’s Dhaka visit.

 

On Tuesday in Myanmar, Pope Francis insisted on Myanmar’s future depends on respecting the rights of each ethnic group, an indirect show of support for Rohingya Muslims who have been subject to decades of discrimination and a recent military crackdown described by the UN as a textbook campaign of “ethnic cleansing.”

 

Francis did not mentioned the crackdown or even utter the contested word “Rohingya” in his speech to Myanmar’s civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other authorities and diplomats in the capital.

 

But he lamented how Myanmar’s people have suffered “and continue to suffer from civil conflict and hostilities,” and insisted that everyone who calls Myanmar home deserves to have their basic human rights and dignity guaranteed.

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