Suu Kyi to miss UN Assembly to deal with crisis

The U.N. Security Council is scheduled to meet September 20 to discuss the crisis in her country's Rakhine state, in which the U.N. said at least 1,000 have died. The council called for "immediate steps to end the violence in Rakhine" as well as for de-escalating the situation, re-establishing law and order, protecting civilians, normalizing socio-economic conditions and resolving the refugee situation.

"This is the first time in nine years that the Security Council has agreed on this particular issue, on Myanmar", Matthew Rycroft, British Ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters at the United Nations headquarters in NY.

He called it "an important first step".

Suu Kyi cancelled a trip to the upcoming UN General Assembly to deal with the crisis, her office said on Wednesday.

But she is facing sharp criticism for her response to the violence against Rohingya in the country.

Since the Rohingya are considered to be illegal Bengali immigrants and were denied recognition as a religion by the government of Myanmar, the dominant group, the Rakhine, rejects the label "Rohingya" and have started to persecute the Rohingya.

Hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions to revoke the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Suu Kyi, a former political prisoner and activist during Myanmar's decades-long military dictatorship.

The Rohingyas are a Muslim minority group living in mostly-Buddhist Myanmar, also known as Burma, which borders Bangladesh and Thailand.

"The state counselor has domestic issues that need more attention, and therefore the vice president will lead the Myanmar delegation", he told Irrawaddy online magazine in the capital Nay Pyi Taw. "And the second reason is we have received reports that there are possibilities of terrorist attacks in our country".

She is due to give her first speech on the situation in a televised address in the coming days.

The crisis began August 25, when an insurgent Rohingya group attacked police outposts in Rakhine state. It did not provide details but a spokesman said out of 471 villages in the north of Rakhine, 176 of them had been deserted and at least some people had left 34 others.

He said 270,000 people have fled to Bangladesh to escape the violence.

A Nobel peace prize victor from Northern Ireland has told Aung San Suu Kyi she has a personal and moral responsibility to defend the Rohingya people in Burma. According to Bangladesh, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

Recent Rohingya arrivals are registered by the government in the Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh.

The head of the United Nations refugee agency said humanitarian assistance to the fleeing Rohingya will improve "very, very quickly".

"We have been trying really to do something and speak on their behalf", Ms Maguire said.

The military have been burning villages to the ground in the Rohingya's home state of Rakhine, and there have been reports of multiple accounts of rape and murder of children, and a humanitarian crises as Bangladesh struggles to accommodate refugees.

  • Arturo Norris