Aung San Suu Kyi claims she does not fear international scrutiny over Rohingya crisis
Sept 19, Naypyidaw: As thousands of Rohingya muslims flee Rakhine state in search of refuge in other countries, Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi says that she does not fear "international scrutiny" of her government's handling of the growing Rohingya crisis.
It was her first national address on the violence in northern Rakhine state that has seen more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims cross into Bangladesh as the Burmese military is trying to alledegedly kill the whole population and ethnically cleanse the region of Rohingya muslims.
Suu Kyi, however had very different views and according to her most Muslims had not fled the state and that violence had ceased.The current spate of violence began in August when there was an armed attack on police posts, blamed on Rohingya militants.
That lead to a massive security crackdown by the military, which was later branded "ethnic cleansing" by the UN
Rohingya Muslims started leaving in vast numbers crossing into Bangladesh with tales of their villages were being burned and saying were facing persecution at the hands of the military.
The military says its operations in the northern Rakhine state are aimed at rooting out militants, and denies targeting civilians. Suu Kyi said she was making this speech because she was unable to travel to the UN General Assembly later this week.
She also added that she wanted the international community to know what was being done by her government to address the situation."We condemn all human rights violations and unlawful violence. We are committed to the restoration of peace and stability and rule of law throughout the state," Ms Suu Kyi said in her address in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw.
Her address however does not answers as to why then have thousands of Rohingya muslism have fled the area, and why would civilians burn down their own homes.
Aung San Suu Kyi, who is also a nobel peace prizeaureate has up till now maintained silence on the issue and even in her speech only defended the government. According to her, more than half the villages are still intact and so it important to understand why violence didnt break out in all Rohingya villages.
Meanwhile, Rohingya refugees blame Suu Kyi for the violence.
Baser, 45, is a village elder and says he encouraged people in his village to stay calm and not fight. He blames Suu Kyi for the violence."What Aung San Suu Kyi is doing is not good. I have no words to describe the violence."
"Being a leader, Aung San Suu Kyi is torturing us so much. She is responsible for this violence,"Baser a Rohingya refugee reportedly told the media.
Similarly, another asylum seeker, Nurun Nahar, 45, who arrived in Bangladesh on Thursday, stated: "We demand Aung San Suu Kyi give us back our country, our village. And our houses, our properties too. She doesn't have the right to keep us in this situation.""If she wants us to go back, she must let us live in peace, and promise us that she won't start this violence again in future."
This address by the Peace Prize Laureate, has shocked many human rights activists and organizations as it makes no sense as to why someone would torch their own homes and flee their homeland, if such atrocities werent taking place, but what the situation in that region is really like cannot be clearly assesed as it is heavily guarded by the government military and restricted to international media.
Meanwhile, An exclusive satellite image by The Guardian supports refugee claims that their villages have been charred by the Burmeses authorities. The satellite images taken above the Myanmar village of Tula Toli have revealed the charred remains of the settlement, confirming reports last month by over a dozen Rohingya from Tula Toli described a blood-soaked operation by Myanmar’s armed forces on 30 August that killed scores of civilians, emptied the village and set their wood-built homes ablaze.
High-resolution photos, taken on Saturday when monsoon rain clouds briefly cleared for the first time in weeks, show significant destruction to the village, according to an analysis by Amnesty International, which has tracked the conflict from space.
The Oslo Times International News Network