Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar ‘does not fear world scrutiny’
Nobel Peace Prize winner accused of ‘burying head in the sand’ over Rohingya crisis
Aung San Suu Kyi has broken her silence on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, saying her government “does not fear international scrutiny”.
Suu Kyi, the country’s de facto leader, has come under growing criticism for her failure to speak out about the bloody army crackdown on the Muslim minority in Rakhine state.
Earlier today, Marzuki Darusman, head of a UN investigation into violence in Myanmar, asked his UN superiors for more time to look into allegations of mass killings of Rohingya men, women and children, as well as torture, sexual violence and the burning of villages, reports Reuters.
Darusman is hopeful that he may soon get Myanmar’s permission to enter the Buddhist-majority country, where more than 1,000 Rohingya are reported to have been killed since 25 August, when militants attacked government forces. At least 400,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, according to the UN.
Giving her first public address about the violence, in Myanmar’s parliament yesterday, Suu Kyi failed to directly address the claims and instead condemned “all human rights violations and unlawful violence”.
She continued: “We are committed to the restoration of peace and stability and rule of law throughout the state.”
Suu Kyi said that “more than 50%” of Rohingya villages were “intact”, and invited diplomats and foreign observers to visit those communities in order to “learn more from the Muslims who have integrated successfully” into the state.
“Myanmar does not fear international scrutiny,” she added.
Amnesty International accused the Noble Peace Prize winner and her government of “burying their heads in the sand over the horrors unfolding in Rakhine state”.
“At times, her speech amounted to little more than a mix of untruths and victim blaming,” said James Gomez, the charity’s regional director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
“Aung San Suu Kyi’s claims that her government ‘does not fear international scrutiny’ ring hollow,” he added. “If Myanmar has nothing to hide, it should allow UN investigators into the country, including Rakhine state.”
The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, last week told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that the situation “seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.