In Burma, the country’s de facto leader and Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi broke her silence Tuesday on the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority, after more than 400,000 refugees crossed into neighboring Bangladesh in recent weeks, fleeing government-sponsored violence. During her address, Suu Kyi refused to criticize the Burmese military’s conduct—which the United Nations has called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”
Aung San Suu Kyi: “I understand that many of our friends throughout the world are concerned by reports of villages being burned and of hordes of refugees fleeing. There have been no conflicts since the 5th of September and no clearance operations. We, too, are concerned. We want to find out what the real problems are. There have been allegations and counter-allegations, and we have to listen to all of them. And we have to make sure that these allegations are based on solid evidence, before we take action.”
In response, Amnesty International said in a statement, “Aung San Suu Kyi today demonstrated that she and her government are still burying their heads in the sand over the horrors unfolding in Rakhine State. At times, her speech amounted to little more than a mix of untruths and victim blaming.” We’ll have more on the crisis in Burma later in the broadcast.