Suu Kyi in plea for unity over cri­sis

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS -

Burma’s em­bat­tled leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has called for na­tional unity and said she has cre­ated a com­mit­tee that will co­or­di­nate all in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal as­sis­tance in vi­o­lences­truck Rakhine state.

More than 500,000 Ro­hingya Mus­lims have fled from the state to neighbouring Bangladesh since Au­gust 25, when se­cu­rity forces re­sponded to at­tacks by a mil­i­tant Ro­hingya group with a broad crack­down on the long-per­se­cuted Mus­lim mi­nor­ity.

The UN has called the vi­o­lence “text­book eth­nic cleans­ing”.

Ms Suu Kyi ac­knowl­edged in a speech on state-run tele­vi­sion that the coun­try is fac­ing wide­spread crit­i­cism over the refugee cri­sis, and called

“Ms Suu Kyi said she would head the new com­mit­tee”

for unity in tack­ling the prob­lem.

She said her govern­ment is hold­ing talks with Bangladesh on the re­turn of “those who are now in Bangladesh”.

She gave no de­tails, but of­fi­cials have sug­gested they would need to pro­vide res­i­dency doc­u­ments, which few have.

Burma’s Bud­dhist ma­jor­ity de­nies Ro­hingya Mus­lims are a sep­a­rate eth­nic group and re­gards them as hav­ing mi­grated il­le­gally from Bangladesh. Ms Suu Kyi said she would head the new com­mit­tee, the Union En­ter­prise For Hu­man­i­tar­ian As­sis­tance, Re­set­tle­ment And De­vel­op­ment In Rakhine, and that it would co­or­di­nate all ef­forts to cre­ate a “peace­ful and de­vel­oped Rakhine state”.

The govern­ment has highly re­stricted ac­cess to Rakhine for in­ter­na­tional aid groups and jour­nal­ists.

Ms Suu Kyi said the govern­ment has in­vited UN agen­cies, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions such as the World Bank, and oth­ers to help de­velop Rakhine.

Burma of­fi­cials deny there has been eth­nic cleans­ing or geno­cide.

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