Jakarta. Thousands of Islamists demonstrated outside the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta on Wednesday (06/09) to protest the ongoing violence against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority in the northwestern Rakhine State.
The rally followed several others in Jakarta last weekend, all of which called for an end to the Rohingya crisis, in which hundreds of people have been killed and thousands more forced to seek refuge since fighting erupted last month after insurgents attacked Myanmar police and border posts.
"Stop ethnic cleansing in Burma," read placards raised by Wednesday's protesters, including members of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).
The protesters urged the Indonesian government to take a tougher stance on Myanmar by cutting diplomatic ties with the Buddhist-majority country and expelling the Myanmar ambassador.
"We demand this embassy be shut down," protest leader Kapitra Ampera told reporters after seeing Myanmar deputy ambassador Kyaw Soe Thien with three other protesters inside the embassy on Jalan Agus Salim in Central Jakarta.
Anti-riot police formed barricades in front of the embassy, surrounding it with barbed-wire fences and had water cannons at the ready.
"If they don't get out of this place in three days, we'll expel them ourselves. We'll burn this embassy," another protest leader told the crowd as he stood on top of a truck, vowing to stage further rallies.
Myanmar leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has come under mounting political pressure from Muslim-majority countries to end the violence against the Rohingya.
Nearly 125,000 Rohingya have reportedly fled for neighboring Bangladesh since the conflict mounted.
Attacks by Rohingya insurgents on Myanmar's security forces triggered a military counter-offensive that has reportedly killed around 400 people.