Srinagar: Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has made her first public comments on the fate of her country’s persecuted Rohingya minority since new violence broke out almost two weeks ago, reports said on Wednesday.
Suu Kyi, who as Myanmar’s state counsellor is the country’s de facto leader, said her government was working to protect the rights of the Rohingya during a phone conversation with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
“We know very well, more than most, what it means to be deprived of human rights and democratic protection,” reports quoting Suu Kyi said.
“So we make sure that all the people in our country are entitled to protection of their rights as well as, the right to, and not just political but social and humanitarian defense.”
Suu Kyi has come under fire in recent days for failing to speak out against the mass killings and displacement of Rohingya by her government, particularly given her previous image as a champion of human rights.
As per reports during the call, Suu Kyi also said a lot of “misinformation” was being distributed to promote “the interests of the terrorists,” adding her government was working hard to ensure terrorism didn’t spread across Rakhine State.
At least 123,000 Rohingya refugees have poured across the Bangladeshi border in just two weeks after a Myanmar’s military crackdown. The violence intensified after co-ordinated attacks on border posts which the government blamed on “terrorists.”
Refugees brought with them stories of death and destruction from inside the western Myanmar province.