Archbishop Desmond Tutu urges Suu Kyi to speak up over Rohingya crisis


Turkey's first lady and foreign minister are visiting Bangladesh to learn why about 164,000 ethnic Rohingya Muslims have fled from neighboring Myanmar in the past two weeks.

Pakistan is urging the world to put pressure on Myanmar, where renewed violence has forced out tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims.

Suu Kyi's government is arguing that ARSA wants to establish an Islamic state in the country's north Rakhine province, where most Rohingyas call home. A bill making its way through Congress seeks to enhance U.S. -Myanmar military co-operation.

"We can't be silent right now". "What a bad signal to be sending".

The world is watching aghast as a slow-motion horror unfolds on Myanmar's frontier with Bangladesh. It is the biggest flight of the long-suppressed minority in a generation.

The Rohingya have always been subjected to discrimination in mostly Buddhist Myanmar, which regards them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and denies them citizenship even if they have lived in the country for generations.

"We will always remain the open and compassionate country we are".

Guterres cited the longstanding history of "discrimination, hopelessness and extreme poverty" against Rohingya and warned about possible ethnic cleansing. It called for re-imposition of sanctions against military officials, such as visa bans and asset freezes, and global accountability for officers implicated in wrongdoing.

The leader of Burma's National League for a Democracy, was given the prestigious award in 1991 for campaigning to make her country a democracy.

Whether Ms Suu Kyi is unable to speak out, or has simply decided not to expend her significant political capital on an unpopular domestic issue, is unclear.

She convened the Rakhine Commission, a body with former United Nations chief Kofi Annan at the helm, to conduct a one-year investigation into the issues facing all communities in Rakhine state.

Another obstacle: Re-imposing even limited sanctions on abusive military officials would probably require new legislation or executive action. Why take on an unpopular fight that she had nearly no prospect of winning?

Myanmar's transition was a priority for Obama and a prized foreign policy achievement. Williams was one of the few who managed to win permission from Myanmar's ruling military junta to visit Suu Kyi during her detention.

USA diplomats are more engaged.

"She said in the statement that "(such) kind of fake information which was inflicted on the deputy prime minister was simply the tip of a huge iceberg of misinformation calculated to create a lot of problems between different countries and with the aim of promoting the interests of the terrorists".

Aid agencies are not being allowed to provide humanitarian support to the people displaced or isolated by this violence. "The unfortunate thing, the serious thing is that we can't verify that now with no access".

But the department has indicated new sanctions aren't being prepared on a nation it now considers a "partner", not an adversary.

In his call with reporters, Murphy called those discussions "productive" and "ongoing", and said the USA is finding "very willing partners within the government". "That's what we're trying to do".

Diplomatic sources in Dhaka and Washington say such gentle persuasion on Myanmar doesn't appear to be working.

South Africa Anti-Apartheid campaigner and social rights activist, Desmond Tutu has condemned Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi for her silence on the painful and dreaded "ethnic cleansing" of Rohingya Muslims in her country.

He noted the government's commitment to implementing the recommendations submitted by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. As for what the Security Council might do next, the diplomat said there is no decision. "The situation in Rakhine has been such since many decades". They were overwhelmed when Suu Kyi got the Noble Prize. A defence spending bill due to be taken up by the Senate in coming days could expand restricted ties with Myanmar's military.