Pope Francis’ visit to Myanmar and neighbouring Bangladesh has coaxed an overdue show of compassion from Aung San Suu Kyi for her Muslim Rohingya countrymen. In tandem with confirmation of the typically packed papal itinerary that begins in Yangon Nov. 27 and winds up in Dhaka six days later, Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party is launching an unprecedented interfaith peace prayer rally across the country.
In a welcome show of leadership by the ruling NLD party, the event, certain to cause domestic controversy amid the party’s Buddhist base, includes prayers for Rakhine, the state where the ethnic Rohingya Muslims have suffered unspeakable sometimes-deadly mistreatment at the hands of Myanmar’s military.
Myanmar’s first Cardinal Charles Bo told ucanews.com that the Pope’s motto is love and peace: Love among the ethnic groups, among the religious people and the majority Buddhist and other religions. And peace means to end decades-long civil wars, which are still raging in the country’s north.