Yangon: Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi will address the crisis engulfing Rakhine state next week, in her first speech since scores were killed in violence that has sent nearly 380,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh and sullied her reputation as a defender of the oppressed.
At a press conference late on Wednesday government spokesman Zaw Htay said Suu Kyi would “speak for national reconciliation and peace” in a televised address on September 19.
He said the Nobel laureate, who has been pilloried by rights groups for failing to speak up for the Rohingya minority, would skip the United Nations General Assembly next week to tackle the crisis unfurling at home.
Bangladesh is struggling to provide relief for exhausted and hungry refugees — some 60 per cent of whom are children — while nearly 30,000 ethnic Rakhine Buddhists as well as Hindus have also been displaced inside Myanmar.
Nine thousand more Rohingya refugees poured into Bangladesh on Wednesday, the UN said, as authorities worked to build a new camp for tens of thousands of arrivals who have no shelter.
Many Rohingya have died making the perilous journey across the border, with nearly 100 drowning in boat trips across the Naf river that divides the two countries.
Bangladeshi authorities want to establish a 2,000-acre camp close to Myanmar’s border to house around 250,000 Rohingya and are also planning to build facilities on a flood-prone island. — AFP