Don't Give Up On Aung San Suu Kyi

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Media captionRohingya Muslims had to decide what to to bring and what to leave.

In her first address as national leader to the United Nations a year ago, Suu Kyi defended her government's efforts to resolve the crisis over the treatment of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority, who were already widely reported to be one of the most discriminated ethnic groups in the worldbefore the crackdown.

Desmond Tutu's intervention comes as the United Nations refugee agency announced an estimated 270,000 Rohingya have sought refuge in Bangladesh over the past two weeks. So, no one should be surprised that after taking over power, she is an active party to the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims.

Myanmar's population is overwhelmingly Buddhist and there is widespread hatred against the Rohingya Muslims, who are denied citizenship and labelled illegal "Bengali" immigrants.

The Rohingya Muslims if Myanmar are being systematically driven from their homes by the Myanmar military, making them refugees in their own country.

The UN Security Council is due to meet on Wednesday to discuss the crisis.

Presidential office spokesman Zaw Htay said Ms Suu Kyi will skip the assembly, which opened on Tuesday and runs until September 25, to address domestic security issues.

Kyaw Zeya, spokesperson of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi's Foreign Ministry, told local media on Tuesday that Vice President Henry Van Thio will instead attend the NY meeting later this month.

Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, has taken nearly no action to end the deadly violence against the Rohingya in the country's western Rakhine State.

Asked if Canada would welcome asylum claims from Rohingya Muslims, the prime minister reiterated a familiar welcoming message.

Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, receiving the award for "her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights" while standing up against military rulers.

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Ms Suu Kyi has been criticised by former supporters in the West for failing to do enough to prevent the violence in Rakhine state.

The youngest Nobel victor, Malala Yousafzai, has condemned Suu Kyi's inaction and said, "Over the last several years, I have repeatedly condemned this tragic and shameful treatment".

But many of those who have fled say troops responded to attacks by Rohingya militants with the brutal campaign of violence and burning of villages aimed at driving them out.

"Maybe a few religious fanatics play a role, but a government is doing this".

Exhausted, wounded and traumatised Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh each day since violence erupted, with the young and old carried over hills and muddy fields in days-long treks or after treacherous boat journeys.

A quick analysis of ARSA's Twitter feed reveals that the organisation is attempting to project itself as a legitimate armed group fighting to restore the Rohingya as a recognised ethnic group in Myanmar.

Trump, by contrast, does not appear to have spoken with Suu Kyi, who skipped a roundtable meeting of Southeast Asian leaders with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in May because of scheduling conflicts.

Aung San Suu Kyi may be in government but she is not in power - the military is principally responsible for these abuses and only they can stop it. Also, the junior minister forcefully argued that the Rohingya must be deported "to ensure the demographic pattern of India is not disturbed".

If something is not done immediately about the situation of the Rohingya, the issue will come back to haunt us as an even greater worldwide humanitarian catastrophe. It goes back to pre-colonial times, ' she added. Entire villages of Rohingya Muslims have been burnt to the ground.

"Part of the problem is that there is not the kind of strong interest in the White House as there used to be", said Derek Mitchell, who was US ambassador to Myanmar from 2012 to 2016.

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