YANGON – Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday (Sept 19) said her country does not fear international scrutiny on the conflict-stricken Rakhine state and wants to determine the cause of exodus of people from the state.
In her first public comments on the Rohingya crisis, she said her government is committed to seeking a sustainable solution to the crisis and invited international agencies to visit the Rakhine state.
She said Myanmar is determined to implement the recommendations of a commission led by former UN chief Kofi Annan to bring peace to the state.
Annan was appointed by Suu Kyi to head a year-long commission tasked with healing long-simmering divisions between the Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists in Rakhine, one of the poorest states in the country.
Suu Kyi also outlined the humanitarian assistance the state has received in recent years in a closely-watched speech to a gathering of diplomats and journalists in Naypyitaw.
It was the first time she addressed the nation on the Rohingya crisis since violence erupted on Aug 25.
The Noble prize winner has come under intense condemnation for staying silent on military operations purportedly against insurgents that have expelled some 400,000 Rohingya Muslims from their homes.
These refugees are now sheltering in squalid camps in neighbouring Bangladesh as international aid workers struggle to deal with the sudden massive exodus.
Suu Kyi said on Tuesday she “feels deeply” for the suffering of “all people” caught up in conflict.
“We are concerned to hear the number of Muslims fleeing areas to Bangladesh,” she added in the live TV address, condemning any “human rights violations” that may have exacerbated the crisis.
In recent weeks, the Rohingya refugee crisis has shocked the world and prompted the United Nations to accuse the country’s army of ethnic cleansing.