Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday said that her country does not fear the scrutiny of the international community as over 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have crossed into Bangladesh after fleeing the ongoing violence in Rakhine state.
“It is not the intention of the Myanmar government to apportion blame or to abdicate responsibility. We condemn all human rights violation and unlawful violence,” she said in a nationally televised address.
“We are committed to the restoration of peace, stability and rule of law throughout the state.”
The speech is the first time Suu Kyi, the country’s de facto leader, has spoken about the situation in Rakhine since the violence broke out on August 25 when Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) rebels attacked police checkposts and killed 12 security personnel, reports CNN.
Crowds gathered on Tuesday morning outside a large screen in Yangon as Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner for her non-violent resistance to the military junta that used to rule Myanmar, began to speak to the country.
At a rally in on Monday, a few hundred people gathered to show their support for the government.
Some held placards of Nobel Peace Prize winner of Malala Yousafzai’s face crossed out, as the activist called Suu Kyi’ to act.
“Shame on you”, the posters said, in reference to Malala. “If you don’t know the real situation of Myanmar, better keep quiet.”
Suu Kyi cancelled her trip to the UN General Assembly for its latest session that began on Monday to handle the situation in Rakhine, CNN reported.
Human rights activists, fellow Nobel laureates and much of the world’s Muslim community have condemned Suu Kyi for failing to use her position as a government leader and moral authority to speak out on behalf of the Rohingya.
Myanmar considers the Rohingya illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, despite the fact that many Rohingya families have lived in Rakhine for years.
Bangladesh considers them Myanmar citizens.
The Myanmar government does not use the term “Rohingya” and does not recognise the people as an official ethnicity, which means the Rohingya are denied citizenship and effectively rendered stateless.