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Rohingya crisis: Suu Kyi ‘burying head in sand’, says Amnesty

Hundreds of Muslim Rohingya have been killed and thousands driven out of Myanmar into Bangladesh.

world Updated: Sep 19, 2017 12:48 IST
Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi delivers a speech to the nation at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw on Tuesday.
Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi delivers a speech to the nation at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw on Tuesday.(AP)

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her government are “burying their heads in the sand” over the violence tearing through Rakhine state, Amnesty International said on Tuesday, criticising Myanmar’s leader for failing to use a televised address to condemn the army for alleged abuses.

“Refugees who have fled to Bangladesh cannot return to this appalling status quo,” the rights group said, adding “at times her speech amounted to little more than a mix of untruths and victim blaming.”

Suu Kyi said on Tuesday she does not fear global scrutiny over the Rohingya crisis, pledging to hold rights violators to account and to resettle some of the 410,000 Muslims who have fled army operations in her country. But she offered no concrete solutions to stop what the UN calls “ethnic cleansing”.

Communal violence has torn through Rakhine state since Rohingya militants staged deadly attacks on police posts on August 25. Hundreds have been killed and hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya driven out of mainly Buddhist Myanmar into Bangladesh.

Suu Kyi has been strongly criticised by the international community for failing to speak up publicly for the stateless Rohingya or to urge restraint on the military.