Has the Rohingya disaster modified Suu Kyi?

Adjust Comment Print

An advisory board chaired by former Thai foreign minister Surakiart Sathirathai has lashed out at the recent resignation of USA member Bill Richardson, saying his accusation that the board was "whitewashing" or "cheerleading" Aung San Suu Kyi over the Rohingya crisis completely lacked legitimacy.

Duterte isn't known for measuring words before speaking on record.

"It is with great disappointment that I announce my resignation from the Advisory Board on Rakhine State", a statement released by Bill Richardson's office said after three days of talks in Myanmar.

"There is too much emphasis or importance for the libertarians about human rights", he said.

On January 16, Bangladesh and Myanmar "finalised an agreement" to send back thousands of Rohingya refugees to their homeland in Myanmar from their temporary "home" in Bangladesh.

The advisory board met with State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday and discussed a work plan on the repatriation of displaced people from Bangladesh fleeing Rakhine conflict.

"It appears that the Board is likely to become a cheerleading squad for government policy as opposed to proposing genuine policy changes that are desperately needed to assure peace, stability, and development in Rakhine State".

"He should review himself over his personal attack against our State Counsellor", government spokesman U Zaw Htay told AFP.

"You know, Aung San Suu Kyi was with us", he said.

The heated discussion left Myanmar's leader "quivering" with rage, Richardson told the New York Times.

Two Reuters journalists were recently jailed for 14 years after they filed reports on the plight of Rohingya Muslims.

Days after Bangladesh made a decision to postpone the repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar, a senior official of the United Nations (UN) stated that it is still not safe for the refugees to go back to their homeland.

The military operations started after Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts in August.

Aung San Suu Kyi's tepid response to the crisis and failure to openly rebuke the military has punctured her reputation as a rights icon.

Aung San Suu Kyi is in the center of criticism due to her supposed inaction to the massive crackdown on Rohingya Muslims who are treated by Buddhists as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Aaron Connelly from the Lowy Institute for International Policy told AFP that the description of the conversation between Richardson and Suu Kyi should "finally dispel the myth that she privately holds views which she can not express publicly".

"The issue in the Rakhine State is a complex one; and we believe that isolation and censure would only add to the difficulty the people there are now facing", Roque said in a statement last November, 2017.

" He said he was "taken aback" by the disparagement of the media, the United Nations, human rights groups and the worldwide community and alarmed by the "lack of sincerity" with which the issue of Rohingya citizenship was discussed".

Richardson could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.

Surakiart rejected the allegation, saying he had never made such a statement.