In Brief

Nobel laureates urge Aung San Suu Kyi to act

Fellow laureates speak out as violence and ‘ethnic cleansing’ continues against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims

Nobel laureates Desmond Tutu and Professor Muhammed Yunus have called on their fellow laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Burma, to stop a violent crackdown against her country's Rohingya Muslim minority.

Suu Kyi has been widely criticised for failing to address widespread violence committed against the Rohingya people, which has forced more than 120,000 refugees across the border into Bangladesh in recent weeks.

"The United Nations secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, said the government clearance operations in Rakhine 'risked' ethnic cleansing," The Guardian reports.

In an open letter to Suu Kyi, Tutu, the former bishop and anti-aparthied campaigner, called on her to show greater leadership, saying: "If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep".

Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist, told The Sydney Morning Herald: "I'm still hoping that she will wake up, be bold and take some leadership, she has not shown that leadership yet."

Suu Kyi, who remains a popular figure in the West, has been facing increasing criticism in recent days.

"Her unwillingness to speak out against the military crackdown, which came in response to insurgent attacks in western Rakhine State, has prompted some former admirers to suggest that Suu Kyi be stripped of the Nobel Peace Prize she was awarded in 1991," the Washington Post reports.

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