Myanmar's de facto leader and state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has condemned any "human rights violations" taking place in the restive Rakhine state in her first comments against the Rohingya violence. The 72-year-old Nobel peace laureate said she is not afraid of "international scrutiny" of the government's handling.
Suu Kyi was under tremendous pressure from global powers to speak on one of the worst crises Myanmar has witnessed in recent years. Up to 400,000 ethnic Rohingyas have been forced to flee Myanmar and seek refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh since August.
"We are concerned to hear the number of Muslims fleeing areas to Bangladesh," she said in her nationwide televised address on Tuesday, 19 September. Suu Kyi said she would want to talk to the fleeing Rohingyas to solve the matter.
Those who are behind the unprecedented exodus to Bangladesh would face the law, she promised after weeks of hesitation to publicly condemn Myanmar's military, which still holds significant powers.
Just hours before Suu Kyi's address, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had called for a meeting in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly gathering. "For this reason, Burma should not be surprised to find itself under international scrutiny and on the Security Council's agenda. As I have repeatedly said, no one wants to see a return to military rule, so it is vital that Aung San Suu Kyi and the civilian government make clear these abuses must stop," he said.