Whether or not the rulers like it, Pope Francis now visiting predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, should refer to the persecuted and displaced Rohingya people by their name in a clear papal stance for justice. The Pope should not accept any intimidation from Myanmar's army to reference the Rohingya people as Bengalis - for to do so, would be turning an impotent eye to violence and ethnic cleansing - sins and crimes, the Pope has often spoke out against.
The Pontiff arrived in the former Burma earlier today for a three-day visit to be climaxed by a Mass in Yangon on Wednesday, after meetings today with the powerful army chief, General Min Aung Hlaing - the man in charge of driving the Rohingya people out of Rakhine province, and the associated crimes committed against the Muslim sect in the mainly Buddhist country. Pope Francis will also meet with Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been disappointingly silent on the crisis of the Rohingya people.
Some 600,000 Rohingya people have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since August because of persecution involving heinous crimes committed by the Myanmar army after a deadly attack by alleged Rohingya militants upon police posts.
The United Nations(UN) has determined that the violence committed against the Rohingya people amounts to ethnic cleansing. In denouncing the violence, Pope Francis, according to the BBC-News, referenced the persecuted people as "our Rohingya brothers and sisters".
However, fearing that the Pontiff might use the name Rohingya while on his visit and since the Myanmar army has refused to recognize the Rohingya, electing to reference them as Bengalis, Myanmar's sole Catholic cardinal has asked the Pope to avoid using the name Rohingya to avoid inflaming local feelings.
But injustice is injustice and recognition and the naming of the victims of persecution and violence are paramount to ending the crimes. Thus, the world should stand with Pope Francis to ensure an end to the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.