Myan­mar Ro­hingya crack­down: Aung San Suu Kyi can­cels UN trip amid global out­rage

The Daily News Egypt - - Politics -

DW—Aung San Suu Kyi will fo­cus at­ten­tion on the “Rakhine ter­ror­ist at­tacks,” her spokesman said, af­ter an­nounc­ing Wed­nes­day that she will skip an up­com­ing UN Gen­eral Assem­bly ses­sion in NewYork later this month.

Suu Kyi, a No­bel Peace Prize win­ner, is fac­ing global out­cry over Myan­mar se­cu­rity forces’ fierce re­sponse to a series of Ro­hingya mil­i­tant at­tacks in the western state of Rakhine.The mil­i­tary’s bru­tal coun­terof­fen­sive — which has been de­scribed by the UN as “eth­nic cleans­ing” — has left hun­dreds dead and forced around 370,000 Ro­hingya Mus­lims to flee into neigh­bour­ing Bangladesh in just the past three weeks.

“The first rea­son (Suu Kyi can­not at­tend) is be­cause of the Rakhine ter­ror­ist at­tacks,” spokesman Zaw Htay said.“The state coun­selor is fo­cus­ing to calm the sit­u­a­tion in Rakhine state.”

He con­tin­ued:“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.”

In an ear­lier state­ment made to news agency Reuters, Htay said he was un­sure pre­cisely why Suu Kyi was not at­tend­ing, but stressed that “she’s never afraid of fac­ing crit­i­cism or con­fronting prob­lems,” adding that “per­haps she’s got more press­ing mat­ters here to deal with.”

Ro­hingya dis­crim­i­na­tion

In her first ad­dress as na­tional leader to the UN last year, Suu Kyi de­fended her govern­ment’s ef­forts to re­solve the cri­sis over the treat­ment of Myan­mar’s Ro­hingya Mus­lim mi­nor­ity,who were al­ready widely re­ported to be one of the most dis­crim­i­nated eth­nic groups in the world be­fore the crack­down. Refugees main­tain that the crack­down is aimed at push­ing Ro­hingya out of Myan­mar.

At­tacks by an in­sur­gent Ro­hingya group on po­lice out­posts in late Au­gust has set off a wave of vi­o­lence across Rakhine state. Next to the sig­nif­i­cant hu­man cost of the con­flict, thou­sands of homes and whole Ro­hingya vil­lages have been burned down. Myan­mar au­thor­i­ties deny that their forces have been set­ting the fires.

Suu Kyi — who is not the coun­try’s pres­i­dent in name but ef­fec­tively serves as leader — has re­fused to con­demn the mil­i­tary’s vi­o­lent crack­down, which in turn has led to calls that she be stripped of her peace prize. UN state­ment pend­ing

The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil is sched­uled to dis­cuss the Ro­hingya cri­sis on Wed­nes­day for the sec­ond time since it broke out on Au­gust 25, al­beit be­hind closed doors once again.

Bri­tain’s am­bas­sador, Matthew Ry­croft, said he hoped the coun­cil would agree on a pub­lic state­ment, al­though such a move seems un­likely. Per­ma­nent mem­bers Rus­sia and China have pub­licly backed the Myan­mar govern­ment.China,which shares a bor­der with Myan­mar, has praised the regime for safe­guard­ing “de­vel­op­ment and sta­bil­ity” in the coun­try.

The UN Gen­eral Assem­bly be­gan yes­ter­day and runs un­til Septem­ber 25.

Crit­ics are call­ing for the No­bel lau­re­ate Aung San Suu Kyi to be stripped of her peace prize amid re­ports of eth­nic vi­o­lence against the Ro­hingya

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