7 Sep 2017 15:17

Organizer of picket in defense of Rohingya offers to meet Myanmar ambassador to Russia

MOSCOW. Sept 7 (Interfax) - An organizer of an unauthorized protest action outside the Myanmar embassy to Russia that was scheduled for Friday thinks that many Muscovites will stage one-man pickets and has offered the Myanmar ambassador to Russia to meet.

In a letter addressed to the Myanmar ambassador to Russia, a copy of which was obtained by Interfax, writer and journalist Arslan Khasavov said the reason for this offer is his intention to avoid fuelling tensions around the protests in Moscow in connection with the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

"To reduce the intensity of emotions in Russian society and to prevent religious conflicts, I would like to propose that I meet you in the building of the Myanmar embassy at 6:30 p.m. on September 8 to give you a petition," the letter said.

The picket organizer said the petition calling for "the halt of the genocide of Muslim people in Myanmar" has been supported by over 140,000 people on the Internet. "I am convinced that a frank and respectful conversation will serve the interests of our two countries and, above all, will improve the future of the Rohingya, whose pain and despair we take as our own," it said.

Khasavov wrote that Moscow authorities had denied him authorization of a picket with 200 participants near the Myanmar embassy on September 8. "Nevertheless, Russian legislation allows citizens to hold one-man pickets, an opportunity that, I am sure, many residents of the Moscow capital will want to use in the absence of other legal ways to express their protest," he wrote.