Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi says 'fake news' is fuelling Rohingya crisis

President Mamnoon in Kazakhstan to attend OIC Summit
				0 President Mamnoon in Kazakhstan to attend OIC Summit 0
Christy Curtis | 11 September, 2017, 01:59

The treatment of Myanmar's roughly 1.1 million Rohingya is the biggest challenge facing national leader Aung San Suu Kyi, accused by some Western critics of not speaking out for a minority that has long complained of persecution.

She then went on to lead her party through the country's first credible elections since its independence.

Rohingya have described large-scale violence perpetrated by Myanmar troops and Buddhist mobs setting fire to their homes, spraying bullets indiscriminately and ordering them to leave or be killed.

She said Myanmar's star politician Aung San Suu Kyi had failed to use her moral authority to defend the Rohingya.

"I am now elderly, decrepit and formally retired, but breaking my vow to remain silent on public affairs out of profound sadness", he wrote in a letter posted on social media.

Mr Tutu said that he had come out of retirement to make the comments because he was so deeply moved by the situation. The images we are seeing of the suffering of the Rohingya fill us with pain and dread.

Critics have accused the Burmese leader - and Nobel peace prize victor - of turning a blind eye to the violent persecution of Rohingya Muslims.

Ms Yanghee Lee, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, said last Friday that more than a thousand people may have been killed in the subsequent army crackdown, a lot of them likely being Rohingya.

My dear sister: if the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep.

Bearing in mind that Aung San Suu Kyi "appears to be deaf and has done nothing to protect her citizens", petition signatories "demand the Chair of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee confiscate or take back the Nobel Peace Prize" awarded to her.

However, the organisation that oversees the coveted prize has said the honour can not be withdrawn.

Suu Kyi on Tuesday blamed "terrorists" for "a huge iceberg of misinformation" on the strife in the northwestern state of Rakhine but made no mention of the Rohingya who have fled.

Suu Kyi said the situation in Rakhine has been hard for many decades and so it was "a little unreasonable" to expect her administration, which has been in power for 18 months, to have resolved it already.

Instead, she has mostly shrugged as the ministries she controls disseminate anti-Rohingya propaganda and prevent travel to the conflict zone.

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