Tags: aung san suu kyi | ethnic | cleansing | myanmar

Aung San Suu Kyi: Ethnic Cleansing Not What She Sees Happening in Myanmar

Image: Aung San Suu Kyi: Ethnic Cleansing Not What She Sees Happening in Myanmar

Aung San Suu Kyi  (AUNG HTET/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 07 Apr 2017 05:45 AM

Aung San Suu Kyi denied ethnic cleansing was taking place in Myanmar against the minority Rohingya Muslim population, calling the term "too strong" for what is happening there, reported the BBC News.

Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, said in an exclusive interview that the country would welcome any Rohingya while acknowledging challenges with them in the Rakhine state, where most live.

"I don't think there is ethnic cleansing going on," said Suu Kyi. "I think ethnic cleansing is too strong an expression to use for what is happening. I think there is a lot of hostility there – it is Muslims killing Muslims as well, if they think they are cooperating 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."

Thousands of Muslims have left the northern Rakhine state, leaving behind violence that United Nations special rapporteur Yanghee Lee has called "crimes against humanity," according to CNN.

"When there's 77,000 people running away from their home towns, leaving everything ... the international community should really step up to the plate," said Lee.

"What really struck me was when old men started to break down in tears in front of me and sob. (They were) telling me they've seen their whole family killed in front of their eyes."

A UN report in February charged there were documented mass gang rapes, killings, including of babies and young children, brutal beatings, disappearances, and other human rights violations by the country's security forces.

"The devastating cruelty to which these Rohingya children have been subjected is unbearable – what kind of hatred could make a man stab a baby crying out for his mother's milk," said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

"And for the mother to witness this murder while she is being gang-raped by the very security forces who should be protecting her."

The BBC News said the Rohingya cannot get citizenship in Myanmar and are viewed as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

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Aung San Suu Kyi denied ethnic cleansing was taking place in Myanmar against the minority Rohingya Muslim population, calling the term "too strong" for what is happening there.
aung san suu kyi, ethnic, cleansing, myanmar
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2017-45-07
Friday, 07 Apr 2017 05:45 AM
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