Burmese leader likely to respond to criticism of her response to ‘ethnic cleansing’
Aung San Suu Kyi will give a public address next week on the crisis involving Burma’s Rohingya minority, her spokesman has said.
The Burmese leader has faced mounting criticism over her response to violence against the mostly-Muslim minority in the country’s Rakhine state.
An estimated 370,000 Rohingya have fled across the border into Bangladesh in recent weeks amid a spate of attacks on their villages. Observers say the violence is being carried out by the Burmese military.
Some reports suggest as many as 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the latest outbreak of violence, which began on 25 August when insurgents attacked more than 20 government security posts.
The response of the Burmese army has prompted widespread condemnation from the international community. The UN’s top human rights official called the violence a “textbook example” of ethnic cleansing.
Donald Trump’s Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said: “The massive displacement and victimisation of people, including large numbers of the ethnic Rohingya community and other minorities, shows that Burmese security forces are not protecting civilians.
Ms Suu Kyi was criticised after claiming that “terrorists” were to blame for the violence and referred to “fake news photographs” posted online that were said to show Rohingya victims in Rakhine but were actually taken elsewhere.
She said: “That kind of fake information … was simply the tip of a huge iceberg of misinformation calculated to create a lot of problems between different communities and with the aim of promoting the interest of the terrorists.”
The Burmese State Counselor has faced calls for her Nobel Peace Prize to be withdrawn over the attacks on the Rohingya. More than 400,000 people have now signed a petition demanding the prize is taken away.
Ms Suu Kyi has also said she will miss the next meeting of the UN General Assembly in order to focus on dealing with the Rakhine crisis.
Her spokesman said: “The first reason [she cannot attend] is because of the Rakhine terrorist attacks. The State Counselor is focusing on calming the situation in Rakhine state. There are circumstances. The second reason is, there are people inciting riots in some areas. We are trying to take care of the security issue in many other places. The third is that we are hearing that there will be terrorist attacks and we are trying to address this issue.”
SOURCE: The Independent