Aung San Suu Kyi: No ethnic cleansing of Myanmar Muslim minority
Aung San Suu Kyi has denied there is ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority in Myanmar – despite widespread reports of abuses.
In an exclusive interview with the BBC, the Nobel peace prize winner acknowledged problems in Rakhine state, where the Rohingya people live.
But she said ethnic cleansing was “too strong” a term to use.
Instead, Myanmar’s de-facto leader said the country would welcome any returning Rohingya with open arms.
“I don’t think there is ethnic cleansing going on. I think ethnic cleansing is too strong an expression to use for what is happening,” she told the BBC’s special correspondent Fergal Keane.
Ms Suu Kyi added: “I think there is a lot of hostility there – it is Muslims killing Muslims as well, if they think they are co-operating with the authorities.
“It is not just a matter of ethnic cleansing as you put it – it is a matter of people on different sides of the divide, and this divide we are trying to close up.”
For many, Ms Suu Kyi’s perceived silence on the issue has damaged her reputation she earned as a beacon for human rights, thanks to her decades-long battle against the military junta in Myanmar.
Ms Suu Kyi has come under increasing pressure internationally since the government of Myanmar, also known as Burma, began conducting counter-insurgency operations in Rakhine state.
The military, which moved in after co-ordinated attacks on border guards in October, has been accused indiscriminately targeting the Rohingya, and subjecting them to rape, murder and torture. Some 70,000 people are thought to have fled to Bangladesh.
The United Nations announced last month it was to conduct an investigation into the alleged human rights abuses.
But speaking in a face-to-face interview for the first time this year, Ms Suu Kyi said she was neither Margaret Thatcher, nor Mother Teresa, but a politician – and argued she had answered questions on the issue previously.
“This question has been asked since 2013, when the last round of troubles broke out in Rakhine. And they [the journalists] would ask me questions and I would answer them and people would say I said nothing. Simply because I did not make the statements people wanted, which people wanted me to make, simply to condemn one community or the other.”
oh..ok..if you say so aung..
“I don’t think there is ethnic cleansing going on. I think ethnic cleansing is too strong an expression to use for what is happening,” she told the BBC’s special correspondent Fergal Keane.”
“For many, Ms Suu Kyi’s perceived silence on the issue has damaged her reputation she earned as a beacon for human rights, thanks to her decades-long battle against the military junta in Myanmar.”
the silence is deafening..