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World
19 Sep 2017

Rohingya crisis: Suu Kyi says Myanmar doesn't fear "international scrutiny"

Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi said her country doesn't fear "international scrutiny" over how it's handling the Rohingya crisis.

Suu Kyi gave her first address about the violence in the Rakhine province that has forced over 400,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh, leading to a humanitarian crisis.

She claims the violence in Rakhine has come to an end.

In context

Suu Kyi addresses Myanmar over Rohingya crisis

Who are Rohingyas?

Rohingyas believed to be world's most persecuted minority

The Rohingyas are an ethnic Muslim group who constitute around one million of Myanmar's predominantly Buddhist 50 million population.

They speak a Bengali dialect, mainly reside in the country's impoverished northern Rakhine state.

Myanmar views them as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and doesn't officially recognize them as its citizens, rendering them stateless.

The Rohingyas have allegedly been subjected to human rights abuses by Myanmar.

Condemnation

Suu Kyi says Myanmar 'condemns human rights violation'

Suu Kyi said she felt "deeply" for the suffering of "all people."

She said Myanmar remains "committed to a sustainable solution… for all communities in this state."

Suu Kyi said both she and her government "condemn all human rights violations and unlawful violence."

She didn't address the allegations of abuse against the military, saying there had been "no armed clashes or clearance operations."

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Claims

Suu Kyi says situation at Rakhine not very severe

Suu Kyi said many Muslims, a possible reference to the Rohingya, had decided to stay at Rakhine which indicated the situation wasn't very severe.

She said she wanted to speak to those who fled and stayed to understand the root of the crisis.

She touted her government's recent efforts to provide more healthcare, education, and infrastructure to improve the condition of Muslims in Rakhine.

Refugees can return to Myanmar after verification

Suu Kyi said all the refugees who fled to Bangladesh would be allowed to return following a verification process. However, this would be a difficult proposition as few refugees have the required paperwork.

Criticism

Suu Kyi fails to address allegations of military abuse

Suu Kyi's speech has attracted widespread criticism as it fails to address allegations of abuse by the military.

The BBC's correspondent in Myanmar Jonah Fisher said Suu Kyi was "either completely out of touch or wilfully blind to the realities."

Fisher also said her government hasn't provided equal access to healthcare and education to Muslims in Rakhine.

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