Saturday 3 December 2016

Angelina Jolie visits Burma factory women with Aung San Suu Kyi

Published 01/08/2015 | 09:27

Angelina Jolie listens to Rohingya community representatives describe the difficult conditions of life in Rakhine State, Burma (Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation/PA)
Angelina Jolie listens to Rohingya community representatives describe the difficult conditions of life in Rakhine State, Burma (Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation/PA)

Angelina Jolie has joined Burma's opposition leader and democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi in meeting female workers to learn more about their dire conditions.

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The actress, who is a special envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, is on a four-day visit to the south-east Asian nation.

During their meeting with the factory workers on the outskirts of an industrial zone in Burma's largest city, Yangon (Rangoon), the two women witnessed first-hand the conditions the employees live in, mostly low-cost hostels. Jolie also toured inside the factory.

She travelled to Kachin state earlier this week, home to more than 10,000 displaced people since a ceasefire between Burma's government and ethnic rebels broke down in 2011.

According to her trip details, it is unlikely that she will be able to travel to western Rakhine State, where more than 100,000 Muslim minority Rohingya live in apartheid-like conditions in camps.

It is Jolie's first visit to Burma, which only recently emerged from decades of military rule. More than a dozen ethnic minority groups, mostly in Burma's border areas, have been fighting for greater autonomy since the country attained independence from Britain 67 years ago.

Recently, world attention has turned to the plight of stateless Rohingya Muslims who have been trafficked from Burma and Bangladesh on board overcrowded boats.

Dozens of graves as well as pens probably used as cages for Rohingya have been found in abandoned jungle camps on both sides of the Thailand-Malaysian border.

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