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Muslims in Myanmar may lead better lives post-election

A Kayan woman, from one of Myanamr's ethnic minority groups, shows her ink-stained finger after she voted, in front of a polling station in Panpet village, Demoso township, Kayah state November 8, 2015. REUTERS/Nay Lynn Thike  - RTS5ZL8
A Kayan woman, from one of Myanamr's ethnic minority groups, shows her ink-stained finger after she voted, in front of a polling station in Panpet village, Demoso township, Kayah state November 8, 2015. REUTERS/Nay Lynn Thike - RTS5ZL8

New York, Nov. 19 : As Myanmar’s National League for Democracy’s (NLD) prepares to assume power after their leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s landslide victory last week, Muslims are hoping to lead better lives.

The election on November 8 has been widely celebrated as a breakthrough for the budding democracy here. But it was a bittersweet moment for Myanmar’s increasingly embattled Muslims, many of whom had put their faith in Suu Kyi.

However, experts said that they did not expect drastic changes in government policies toward Muslims, but they held out hope that at least things would not become worse, according to The New York Times.

As far as the NLD is concerned, the party did not make any promises to end discrimination against Muslims but analysts said that they did not go out of their way to attack them.

“I think a lot of Muslims thought, sure, the N.L.D. and Suu Kyi haven’t vocally supported us, but they’re much better than the other guys,” David Scott Mathieson, a Myanmar specialist at Human Rights Watch, said.

The Nobel Peace laureate and national democracy icon Suu Kyi has been globally criticised for not speaking up for the Rohhingya, a predominantly Muslim group whose life is so grim that thousands fled on smugglers’ ships in the spring, setting off a region-wide crisis after other countries initially turned the boats back, leaving the migrants to starve at sea.

Matthew Smith, executive director of Fortify Rights, a human rights group that focuses on Myanmar, said that the fact that Muslims are still hopeful of a better life under the new government despite the NLD’s silence, particularly on the abuses against Rohingya, points out their desperation in some way. (ANI)