Duterte says United Nations useless, tells Suu Kyi to ignore human rights critics

28 January, 2018, 00:32 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Myanmar terminates Bill Richardson's participation in advisory board on Rakhine state

Veteran U.S. mediator Bill Richardson insisted that Aung San Suu Kyi remains Myanmar's best hope for change, this statement came days after he got into a fight with the Nobel laureate and quit an worldwide panel advising her government on the Rohingya crisis.

Duterte said he had a chance to talk to Suu Kyi, Myanmar's state counselor, and told the latter not to mind her critics.

" He said he was "taken aback" by the disparagement of the media, the United Nations, human rights groups and the global community and alarmed by the "lack of sincerity" with which the issue of Rohingya citizenship was discussed".

"And I think Aung San Suu Kyi has brought this upon herself, the constant disparagement of the global community, which I think can be helpful to her".

Suu Kyi, known as a democracy and human rights icon, has disappointed many for her silence over the persecution of Rohingyas in her country. "I think she's developed a classic bubble".

"She blames all the problems that Myanmar is having on the global media, on the United Nations, on human rights groups, on other governments, and I think this is caused by the bubble that is around her, by individuals that are not giving her frank advice", Richardson, once a close friend of Suu Kyi, said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city.

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The spectacular public affray appears to mark the end of a three-decade political friendship, during which Richardson said he lobbied for Suu Kyi's release from house arrest.

Aung San Suu Kyi is in the center of criticism due to her supposed inaction to the massive crackdown on Rohingya Muslims who are treated by Buddhists as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. He said he had informed the U.S. Ambassador in Yangon and the State Department of his intention to resign but did not seek their guidance or permission to do so. But he declined to disclose details of his conversation with the chief diplomat in Donald Trump's administration.

And in his resignation letter, Richardson accused members of being a "cheerleading squad" for the government.

"It became evident that the intent of Governor Bill Richardson was ... to pursue his own agenda", the statement said.

Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were arrested in December and face up to 14 years in jail under the Official Secrets Act over the alleged possession of classified documents, purportedly relating to the army campaign in Rakhine. "She needs to start listening to her friends, people like me that are giving her frank advice that things are not going well, but she doesn't seem to want to hear this". While numerous mostly Muslim ethnic group can trace their lineage in Myanmar back centuries, the majority Bamar population regards them as "Bengali" interlopers, and they have been consistently denied citizenship or legal status.

Gradual repatriations of Rohingya were to begin Tuesday under agreements signed by Myanmar and Bangladesh, but Bangladeshi officials delayed the returns at the last minute, saying more time was needed amid questions about safety and whether the refugees were returning voluntarily. The remaining members of the advisory board on Wednesday toured temporary camps the government has set up for returnees.

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