No Ethnic Cleansing in Arakan State: Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor and Foreign Minister of Burma - File Photo

AW Reporter :

Burma leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi denies ethnic cleansing on Rohinyga Muslims in Arakan State of Burma. As so according her it was too strong a term to describe what was happening in northern Arakan State, the BBC reported on last Wednesday.

“I don’t think there is ethnic cleansing going on,” State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi told the BBC in an interview when asked if she would be remembered as the Nobel Peace Prize winner who ignored ethnic cleansing in her own country.

“I think ethnic cleansing is too strong an expression to use for what is happening,” said the state counselor who is facing international criticism for her government’s handling of a crisis in the Arakan region.

Attacks on Burma border guard posts in October last year by a previously unknown insurgent group ignited the biggest crisis of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s year in power, with about 90,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh in the ensuing army crackdown.

A United Nations report issued earlier this year said Burma’s security forces had committed mass killings and gang rapes against Rohingya during their what they called Clearance campaign  against the insurgents, which may amount to crimes against humanity.The military has denied the accusations, saying it was engaged in a legitimate counterinsurgency operation.

“It is not just a matter of ethnic cleansing,” she said. “It is a matter of people on different sides of a divide, and this divide we are trying to close up as best as possible and not to widen it further.”

“What we are trying to go for is reconciliation, not condemnation,”  “It is Muslims killing Muslims as well” , Aung San Suu Kyi told the BBC.

When asked by the BBC whether perceptions of her as an amalgam of Indian independence hero Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa of Calcutta were incorrect as she was more similar to former British leader Margaret Thatcher, she said, “Well no. I am just a politician. I am not quite like Margaret Thatcher, no. But on the other hand, I am no Mother Teresa either.”

[BBC News]



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