UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday welcomed moves by Myanmar's leadership to address the violence in the country's Rakhine state as "steps in the right direction."
The UN chief received a letter Friday from President of Myanmar U Thein Sein, in which the president condemned the "criminal acts" of elements inside his country that caused the "senseless violence" resulting in widespread loss of life, destruction of property and displacement of families in Rakhine state, said a statement released here by Ban's spokesperson.
In the letter, U Thein Sein "promised to deal with the perpetrators in accordance with the rule of law," said the statement.
A series of fresh riot in Rakhine state, which recurred for more than a week since Oct. 21, has left 32,231 more people homeless.
The death toll was updated to 89 with the number of the injured being at 136 as of Oct. 30.
During the riot, 5,351 houses were burnt down by arson in addition to 14 religious buildings and eight rice mills.
In his letter, according to the statement, the Myanmarese president also noted that "once emotions subside on all sides," his government was prepared to "address contentious political dimensions, ranging from resettlement of displaced populations to granting of citizenship," as well as to look at other long-term issues.
In addition, the president underlined the commitment of the Myanmar government to meeting the humanitarian needs of individuals and communities in the affected areas of Rakhine state and seeking wider international assistance and cooperation in this regard.
Separately, U Thein Sein met on Friday with senior members of the state's Buddhist and Muslim communities, including members of the clergy, the statement noted, adding that the president strongly called upon these leaders to exert maximum effort to foster harmony and cooperation between the communities.
"The secretary-general welcomes both President U Thein Sein's letter as well as his recent meeting as positive steps in the right direction," the statement said.
"He further welcomes the assurances conveyed on behalf of the government of Myanmar, in respect of the immediate and longer-term issues connected with the troubles in Rakhine that would be carefully noted by the international community," it said.
The statement added that the United Nations will work closely with the government and people of Myanmar to help the affected people in Rakhine state, "as well as support the measures that will need to be taken to comprehensively address the issues at the heart of the situation there."