Suu Kyi campaigns in hostile territory – Nikkei Asian Review

THANDWE, Rakhine State — Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi took her election campaign over the weekend to the troubled western state of Rakhine, where she urged citizens to avoid religious discrimination and not be swayed by rhetoric aimed at stirring up Buddhist-Muslim tensions in the divided region. “Hatred and fear is of no benefit to Myanmar,” Suu Kyi told a crowd of around 2,000 in the coastal town of Thandwe on Oct. 17. Despite efforts by Buddhist hardliners to depict her party as being over-friendly toward Muslims, Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy is expected to win more seats than any other party in the Nov. 8 election. However, the NLD is thought unlikely to have much success in Rakhine State, also known as Arakan, where the ethnically-based Arakan National Party is expected to perform well among the state’s estimated 2 million Rakhine Buddhists who make up about two-thirds of the local population.