Aung San Suu Kyi addresses Rohingya refugee crisis in televised speech

World Today

Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi delivers a televised speech to the nation at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. Suu Kyi said Tuesday that most Rohingya villages weren’t hit by violence. She invited foreign diplomats gathered in the capital for her speech to visit villages that were unaffected. (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo)

For the first time, Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has spoken publicly about the Rohingya issue in her country.

In the closely-watched speech, she recognized the conflict with the minority Muslim group, but also said she doesn’t know why there’s a mass exodus of refugees.

CGTN’s Natasha Hussain reports.

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi broke her almost month-long silence on the Rohingya refugee crisis that has shocked the world.

When talking of her stance on the violence, Suu Kyi emphasized the government’s strong support for human rights and its desire for peace and stability.

“We condemn all human rights violations and unlawful violence,” she said. “We are committed to restoration of peace, stability, and rule of law throughout the state.”

The violence erupted in late August when Myanmar’s army retaliated against co-ordinated attacks by Rohingya militants.

Since then, nearly 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh to escape the fighting.

They now languish in one of the world’s largest refugee camps. Many global leaders have urged the resettling of those innocent civilians.

Suu Kyi stressed that Myanmar stood ready “at any time” to verify the status of the Rohingya Muslims that fled over the border.

“There has been the call for the repatriation of refugees who have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh. We are prepared to start the verification process at any time,” she stated.

Suu Kyi said Myanmar does not fear international scrutiny over the Rohingya unrest, and that the government will work to find the reason why the massive exodus happened.

At the end of her speech, the state counselor stressed that hatred and fear are the causes of the conflict. She believes the clashes can be only addressed by eradicating those weaknesses of human nature.

“Hate and fear are the main scourges of our world. All conflicts arise either out of hate or out of fear,” Suu Kyi said.

“It is only by removing the sources of hate and fear that we shall be able to remove conflict from our country and from our world.”