Under fire over Rohingya, Suu Kyi defends Myanmar actions

Under fire over Rohingya, Suu Kyi defends Myanmar actions

According to the United Nations, over 400,000 Rohingyas have so far fled to Bangladesh since August 25, joining the around one million Rohingyas who were already in the country having traveled there during earlier times of unrest.

But in a closely watched speech, Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize victor who led the opposition to Myanmar's former military rulers, defended the army that once kept her under house arrest for more than a decade.

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi's assurances on Tuesday that Myanmar stood ready to start the verification process at any time to ensure repatriation of refugees who have fled to Bangladesh over the past month has been received by the Rohingya community living in Delhi with much scepticism.

Communal violence has torn through Rakhine state since Rohingya militants staged deadly attacks on police posts on August 25.

"We want to understand why this exodus is happening".

She accused the global community of overlooking the other challenges facing Myanmar, an overwhelmingly Buddhist country formerly known as Burma, where an estimated 1 million Rohingya Muslims have long complained of persecution.

She claimed there had been no "clearance operations" since 5 September and "more than half" of Rohingya villages remained intact.

Addressing the opening of the UN General Assembly, Guterres said he "took note" of Suu Kyi's pledge to abide by the recommendations of a report by former UN chief Kofi Annan that has advocated citizenship for the Rohingyas.

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In her speech, Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize victor for her non-violent resistance to the military junta that used to rule Myanmar, did not mention the Rohingya specifically and only used the term in reference to the "Rohingya Salvation Army".

"If Myanmar has nothing to hide, it should allow United Nations investigators into the country, including Rakhine State".

Suu Kyi explained how Myanmar could assist Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh willing to return to Rakhine. "We would like to talk to those who have fled as well as those who have stayed".

New York-based Human Rights watch released analysis of the latest satellite images on Tuesday urging world leaders meeting in NY to urgently adopt a resolution condemning the ethnic cleansing by Myanmar army.

That balanced approach is unlikely to satisfy rights groups, who say they have documented irrefutable evidence of the army's atrocities.

Following the speech, she held a two-hour closed-door meeting with worldwide diplomats who she has invited to visit Rakhine provided security is deemed to be sufficient to "see for yourselves".

"While it was positive to hear Aung San Suu Kyi condemn human rights violations in Rakhine State, she is still silent about the role of the security forces", Amnesty International said. If Rohingya are proven wrong that they were attacked, he said, "we will not mind if the world decides to kill us all by pushing us into the sea". China, India, and Russian Federation lend Myanmar unwavering support, and back the government line that the crisis stems not from extreme structural problems in the Myanmar polity but from Rohingya "terrorism" that destabilised a period of peace.

They show the destruction of tens of thousands of homes across Maungdaw and Rathedaung Townships, part of the Burmese security forces' campaign of ethnic cleansing. Hundreds of thousands more Rohingya were already in Bangladesh from waves of violence years earlier.

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