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Aung San Suu Kyi not to attend UN General Assembly session

Aung San Suu Kyi not to attend UN General Assembly session
Pic Courtesy: BBC

Naypyidaw: Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s national leader not to show up in the upcoming UN General Assembly session in New York. No reason was provided for her withdrawal.

“The Nobel Peace Prize winner had withdrawn from the meeting in New York on September 20,” a spokesperson for her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) told Reuters.

Growing Criticism:

Aung San Suu Kyi, whose official title is ‘state counsellor’, faces mounting criticism over the systematic killings and displacements of Rohingya Muslims in the western Rakhine state. Since August 25, 370,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh.

“She’s never afraid of facing criticism or confronting problems. Perhaps she’s got more pressing matters here to deal with,” Aung Shin, the spokesman, told Reuters.

“U Henry Van Thio, Myanmar’s vice president, is expected to attend the assembly instead, and speak on behalf of Myanmar,” China’s official Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

Critics have called for her to be stripped of her Nobel peace prize for failing to do more to address the crisis.

In her first address to the General Assembly as national leader in September last year, Aung San Suu Kyi defended her government’s efforts to resolve the crisis over treatment of the Muslim minority.

International Opinion:

International pressure has been growing on Myanmar to end the violence in the western state of Rakhine that began on August 25 when a ragtag Rohingya militia attacked about 30 police posts and an army camp.

Attacks on Rohingya villages in the north of Rakhine by the security forces and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists display numerous Muslim villages to the torch.

‘But Myanmar authorities have denied that the security forces, or Buddhist civilians, have been setting the fires, instead blaming the Rohingya militia. Nearly 30,000 Buddhist villagers have also been displaced,’ they say.

The Trump administration has called for protection of civilians, and Bangladesh says all of the refugees will have to go home and it has called for safe zones to be created in Myanmar to enable them to do so.

China’s Say :

But China, which competes with the US for influence in the region, said on Tuesday it backed Myanmar’s efforts to safeguard “development and stability”.

The military, which ruled for almost 50 years until it began a transition to democracy in 2011, retains important political powers and is in full control of security.

The UN Security Council is to meet on Wednesday behind closed doors for the second time since the latest crisis erupted. Matthew Rycroft, Britain’s ambassador to the UN, said he hoped there would be a public statement agreed by the council.

‘China and Russia would probably object to such a move and protect Myanmar if there was any push for council action to try and end the crisis,’ diplomats said.