Pope Francis Advised to Avoid One Word in Myanmar - Page 2

Cardinal recommends he not say 'Rohingya'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2017 6:39 AM CST

  • The AP explains the stakes: "Any decision to avoid the term could be viewed as a capitulation to Myanmar's military and a stain on his legacy of standing up for the most oppressed and marginalized of society, no matter how impolitic." The AP does note that the trip was scheduled prior to August, when the situation was said to have severely worsened.
  • One take: CNN quotes Aaron Connelly, a research fellow at Australia's Lowy Institute, whose view is that "clearly the thing that motivated this visit was always a desire to talk about the Rohingya. The question is ... is he going to do that in a way which is less confrontational and engages? Or is he going to say, this is outrageous, these people have a right to be in Myanmar?"
  • Another take: Rakhine nationalist leader Dr. Aye Maung does see the trip's timing as unusual, and, in suggesting restraint, offers this to the Guardian: "Before the bird sits on the tree branch, the branch doesn't have any vibrations, but when the bird flies out the branch is left swaying."
  • Pre-trip hints: Going into the trip, a Vatican rep not only used the word in a pre-trip briefing but described it as "not a prohibited word." But the AP notes top Vatican diplomat Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin declined to use it when speaking with Vatican media just prior to the trip.
  • What the US thinks: Last week, the US officially declared the situation to be an example of ethnic cleansing. "No provocation can justify the horrendous atrocities that have ensued," said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Read one horrifying account here.
(Read more Pope Francis stories.)

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