Breaking silence on the ongoing Rohingya crisis, Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday said that the nation “feels deeply” for the “suffering of all groups” in the Rakhine state, adding that it is concerned about the Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh.
Commenting for the first time on the issue, Suu Kyi, in a live TV address, said that Myanmar “condemns all human rights violations”, adding that it is committed to maintaining peace and rule of law.
She said the government still needs to find out “what the real problems are” and that there have been “allegations and counter-allegations” that need to be investigated.
Reacting to United Nations’ denunciation on the issue, Suu Kyi said that “Myanmar doesn’t fear international scrutiny”, adding that it is committed to a sustainable solution in the violence-hit Rakhine state.
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The military response to insurgent attacks in the western region of Myanmar last month sent more than 410,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh, escaping what the United Nations has branded ethnic cleansing.
She further said that Myanmar is ready to start a refugee verification process for those who wish to return at any given time. Suu Kyi’s refered to those who have fled in an unprecedented exodus to Bangladesh, without guaranteeing a return for all of the refugees.
Suu Kyi also said that most Rohingya Muslim villages were not affected by the violence in Myanmar. She went on to invite diplomats to visit the country.
Suu Kyi had so far refused to speak up on the matter. Her reaction comes after the Indian government on Monday told the Supreme Court it wanted to deport the thousands of illegal Rohingya refugees in the country, claiming they were a “serious security threat to the nation”.
She warned action would be taken against anyone “regardless of race or political position who go against the laws the laws of the land or violate human rights”.
During the speech, she mentioned the Rohingya by name only once, in reference to the armed militant group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.
Suu Kyi also urged the world to see Myanmar as a whole and said it was “sad” that the international community was concentrated on one among the country’s many problems.
The Centre said it had found that "many of the Rohingya figure in suspected sinister designs of ISI/IS and other extremist groups who want to achieve their ulterior motives in India, including that of flaring up communal and sectarian violence in sensitive areas".
Suu Kyi 'burying head in sand', says Amnesty International
Criticising Myanmar’s state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to condemn the nation’s army for alleged abuses of the Rohingyas through a televised address, the Amensty International said on Tuesday that she and her government are “burying their heads in the sand” over the violence in the Rakhine state.
“Refugees who have fled to Bangladesh cannot return to this appalling status quo. At times her speech amounted to little more than a mix of untruths and victim blaming,” the rights group was quoted by AFP as saying.