Vastavam web: Pope Francis will meet the head of Myanmar’s army and Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, both late additions to a tour of the two countries next week.Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said on Wednesday that the pope would meet army head Senior General Min Aung Hlaing on Nov. 30 in a church residence in Yangon.
Myanmar Cardinal Charles Maung Bo had talks with the pope in Rome on Saturday and suggested that he add a meeting with the general to the schedule for a trip that is proving to be one of the most politically sensitive since Francis was elected in 2013. Both the pope and the general agreed.Burke said a small group of Rohingya refugees would be present at an inter-religious meeting for peace in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka on Dec 1.
Myanmar’s government has denied most of the claims of atrocities against the Rohingya, and the army last week said its own investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by troops.Briefing reporters on the trip, Burke gave no details of how the Rohingya who will meet the pope would be chosen. A source in Dhaka said the refugees would be able to tell the pope about their experiences.Both events were not on the original schedule of the Nov. 26-Dec. 2 trip.
Bo, the cardinal from Myanmar, has advised the pope not to use the word Rohingya while in Myanmar because it is incendiary in the country where they are not recognised as an ethnic group.