Myanmar leader says communal unrest dents image
YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar's leader said on Saturday deadly communal unrest is hampering his nation's reforms and causing it "to lose face" on the world stage, in unusually sharp comments ahead of a visit by United States President Barack Obama.
Condemning violence between Muslim Rohingya and local Buddhists that has left scores of people dead, President Thein Sein said it was "impossible to hide" events in Rakhine State from the gaze of the international community.
The bloodshed has brought "a halt to Myanmar's development and lost face on the international stage", he was quoted as saying by state mouthpiece the New Light of Myanmar.
His comments echo those made in a letter Friday to United Nations leader Ban Ki Moon pledging to address issues at the heart of hostility to the Rohingya, "ranging from resettlement of displaced populations to granting of citizenship".