Large numbers of riot police were mobilised in the country's main city but there were no signs of any protests. His favorite song once floated above the paddy fields of Myanmar’s Rakhine state, heard only by a few grazing cattle and the heavens.Afterwards, the military chief's office wrote on Facebook: 'Myanmar has no religious discrimination at all. (it) performs for the peace and stability of the country.' The Tatmadaw, as his army is known, has been accused by the UN and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of conducting a campaign of 'ethnic cleansing' by driving 620,000 Rohingya from western Myanmar into Bangladesh since August.
“When I set foot in Bangladesh, I started feeling better,” says Mohammad Ali, a 70-year-old refugee holding an emaciated baby, clinging to the tattered grey T-shirt he has worn since he fled his village of Boli Bazar the Friday before Eid al-Adha.
Francis, who is also due to speak with civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has been warned not to even say the word Rohingya during his visit or risk causing a backlash against the country's Christian minority.
He will hold Mass for 150,000 Catholics in Yangon before travelling to Bangladesh, where he will meet with some of the 620,000 Rohingya who have fled there.
He learned to sing from his older brother, before he died at the hands of a Buddhist mob.
The family fled, like more than half a million others, across the border into Bangladesh.