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Myanmar's Suu Kyi faces pressure

06 September 2017

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi blamed fake news and a misinformation campaign for fueling a crisis that the United Nations says has now pushed more than 125,000 minority Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh with tales of atrocities at the hands of security forces. The violence and civilian suffering have prompted global condemnation and resonated particularly in many Muslim countries.

Asked whether he was disappointed in Suu Kyi, the secretary-general said: "It's not a matter of being disappointed".

The Nobel laureate has faced criticism for not speaking out on the latest violence.

Suu Kyi told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call Tuesday that her government is defending "all the people" in western Rakhine state, according to a government statement.

However, accusations continue to be levelled at Myanmar's authorities.

Most are Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority that the government of Buddhist-majority Myanmar largely does not recognise as citizens.

Nearly 90,000 of Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya have fled the country's violence since August as international criticism
Myanmar's Suu Kyi faces pressure

In her first comments since Rohingya militant attacks sparked unrest on 25 August, Suu Kyi said fake news was "calculated to create a lot of problems between different communities" and to promote "the interest of the terrorists".

The allegations came after blasts were heard in the area, in which two children and a woman were injured, according to news agency AFP.

Two-way trade has grown to about $2.2 billion as India courts Myanmar following the gradual end of military rule, but Indian-funded projects have moved slowly. Suu Kyi, who established the commission, has largely looked the other way regarding the plight of the Rohingyas.

The International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank, said in a report on "Buddhism and Politics in Myanmar" that the crisis triggered by Rohingya insurgent attacks on police posts and massive retaliation by the army has boosted anti-Muslim sentiment nationwide, opening the possibility of even more religious violence. Security forces responded to the attacks with days of "clearance operations" the government says were aimed at rooting out insurgents it accuses of setting fire to Rohingya villages.

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize victor, tweeted on Monday that she's waiting for Suu Kyi to condemn the Rohingya's "tragic and shameful treatment".

A separate report by Burma Human Rights Network charges that Muslims throughout the country, not just the Rohingya in Rakhine state, face increasing harassment, and their stigmatization could also beget more violence.

Latest North Korean missile test continues to strain global relations
So the question is whether North Korea will put some checks on itself as it seeks to expand its weapons tests in the Pacific. Still, it's unclear whether the North will ever act on its threat to fire missiles at the "advanced base of invasion".

Myanmar's Suu Kyi faces pressure