Suu Kyi makes quick visit to crisis-hit Rakhine state

Ms Aung San Suu Kyi arriving at Sittwe airport for an unannounced visit to Rakhine state yesterday. She met Muslim religious leaders in the town of Maungdaw, one of the districts worst hit by the violence.
Ms Aung San Suu Kyi arriving at Sittwe airport for an unannounced visit to Rakhine state yesterday. She met Muslim religious leaders in the town of Maungdaw, one of the districts worst hit by the violence.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has made a lightning one-day visit to crisis-wracked Rakhine state and, in a meeting with Muslim religious leaders in the town of Maungdaw, she urged people "not to quarrel".

Maungdaw was among the districts worst hit by violence which has led tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee their homes in Rakhine to Bangladesh across the border.

Ms Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has faced heavy international criticism for not taking a higher profile in responding to the violence which United Nations officials have called "ethnic cleansing" by the army. Myanmar has rejected the charges, saying the military was cracking down on militants.

A top UN official, after a two-day visit to Myanmar, yesterday appealed for the safe, voluntary and sustainable repatriation of displaced Rohingya. Ms Suu Kyi had earlier pledged to allow for the return of refugees, provided they could prove they were Myanmar residents.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2017, with the headline 'Suu Kyi makes quick visit to crisis-hit Rakhine state'. Print Edition | Subscribe