On a visit to Malaysia, Obama praised political reforms under
way in once-isolated Myanmar but said the danger of
democratization was that it could unleash religious and ethnic
conflicts and that such developments could move Myanmar in a bad
"You have a Muslim minority (in Myanmar) … that the broader
population has historically looked down upon and whose rights
are not being fully protected," Obama told a townhall-style
meeting of young leaders from across Southeast Asia. "Myanmar
won't succeed if the Muslim population is oppressed."
Members of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority have been the
victims of attacks and widespread abuse in recent years blamed
by human rights groups and other observers on security forces
and anti-Muslim mobs in the country's Rakhine state.
(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; editing by Michael Perry)
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