Suu Kyi postpones visit to Indonesia

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi delivering a speech during a luncheon organised by Japanese business and economic associations in Tokyo, Japan, on Nov 4, 2016.
Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi delivering a speech during a luncheon organised by Japanese business and economic associations in Tokyo, Japan, on Nov 4, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

YANGON • Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday postponed a visit to Indonesia after protests there over her country's bloody crackdown on Rohingya Muslims and a thwarted plot to attack its embassy in Jakarta.

Thousands of desperate Rohingya have flooded over the border from Myanmar's Rakhine state into Bangladesh in the past week, making horrifying claims of gang rape, torture and murder at the hands of security forces.

Bangladesh border guards yesterday pushed back eight more boatloads of Rohingya who were attempting to cross the Naf River to southern Bangladesh.

Ms Suu Kyi has faced a growing international backlash for what a UN official has said amounts to a campaign of ethnic cleansing. Myanmar has denied the allegations, saying the army is hunting "terrorists" behind deadly raids on police posts last month.

The Nobel laureate had been due to visit Indonesia after a trip to Singapore from Nov 30-Dec 2, but a senior foreign ministry official said the trip had been delayed.

"We postponed the Indonesia trip because of the problems in Rakhine and also northern Shan State" where the army is fighting ethnic insurgents, said deputy director-general Aye Aye Soe.

She denied that the delay was due to security concerns.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2016, with the headline 'Suu Kyi postpones visit to Indonesia'. Print Edition | Subscribe