Myanmar’s state councilor has canceled her trip to the UN General Assembly session later this month citing the need to focus on the “Rakhine terrorist attacks”.
Aung San Suu Kyi Cancels UN Trip Amid Global Outcry
Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called off plans to attend the UN General Assembly session in New York later this month amid growing outrage over the unfolding Rohingya crisis.
Critics have called for the Nobel laureate to be stripped of her peace prize amid reports of “ethnic cleansing” against Rohingya Muslim’s in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
According to her spokesman, State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi will focus attention on the "Rakhine terrorist attacks," and will not attend the UN session.
"The first reason (Suu Kyi cannot attend) is because of the Rakhine terrorist attacks," spokesman Zaw Htay said.
"The state counselor is focusing to calm the situation in Rakhine state."
He said: “The second reason is, there are people inciting riots in some areas. We are trying to take care of the security issue in many other places. The third is that we are hearing that there will be terrorist attacks and we are trying to address this issue."
So far an estimated 370,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Rakhine to Bangladesh in the past three weeks.
The crisis was sparked by the Myanmar military’s counteroffensive to a Rohingya insurgent attack in late August.
On Monday the UN called it “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”
However, in an earlier statement to Reuters, Htay said he was unsure precisely why Suu Kyi was not attending, but stressed that "she's never afraid of facing criticism or confronting problems."
In addition to the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya’s who have fled Myanmar, thousands of homes and whole Rohingya villages have been burned down. But Myanmar authorities deny that their forces have been setting the fires.
Suu Kyi has refused to condemn the military's violent crackdown, which in turn has led to calls that she be stripped of her peace prize.
The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet Wednesday, behind closed doors, to discuss the situation.