We are concerned over Rohingya Muslims fleeing Bangladesh, says Suu Kyi

Myanmar: Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi said on Tuesday that she stood ready “at any time” to verify the status of the 410,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in the last month to aid the return of those eligible for resettlement, reported Hindustan Times, a newspaper based in India.

Breaking her silence after a wave of criticism, Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate, said she “feels deeply” for the suffering of “all people” caught up in conflict scorching through Rakhine state. She also condemned all human rights violations and said anyone responsible for abuses in troubled Rakhine state would face the law.

“We are concerned to hear the number of Muslims fleeing areas to Bangladesh,” she added in a live TV address. “We are prepared to start the verification process at any time,” she said.

Suu Kyi, in her first address to the nation since attacks by Rohingya Muslim insurgents on August 25 sparked a military response that has forced thousands of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh, said Myanmar did not fear international scrutiny and was committed to a sustainable solution to the conflict.

Analysts say Suu Kyi must walk a treacherous line between global opinion and Islamaphobic anti-Rohingya views at home, where the military has curdled hatred for the Muslim minority.

Inside Myanmar, supporters say the 72-year-old leader lacks the power to pull in the army, with whom she is in a delicate power-sharing arrangement.

The UN has accused Myanmar’s army of “ethnic cleansing” over a campaign of alleged murder and arson that has left scores of Rohingya villages in ashes.

The army denies that instead of insisting its operations are a proportional response to the late August raids by Rohingya militants, who they label “extremist Bengali terrorists”.

Since then just under half of Rakhine’s Rohingya population has poured into Bangladesh, where they now languish in one of the world’s largest refugee camps.

A further 30,000 ethnic Rakhine Buddhists, as well as Hindus, have also been displaced — apparent targets of the August 25 attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) militant group.

Suu Kyi skipped this week’s UN General Assembly in New York to manage the crisis at home and deliver her televised address — the biggest yet of her time in office.

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