DISTURBING

Aung San Suu Kyi Plays Down Reports of Rohingya Crackdown

Amid mounting criticism over Burma’s crackdown on its Rohingya Muslim community, Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday appeared to shrug off international concerns of ethnic cleansing. Despite the exodus of 400,000 Rohingya refugees, Suu Kyi claimed that violence against the minority group is limited and “more than half” of Rohingya villages are peaceful. Delivering a speech to foreign diplomats in Naypyidaw after skipping her planned speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Suu Kyi invited foreign diplomats to visit so they could see for themselves why residents are “not at each other’s throats in these particular areas.” Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate, has faced intensifying criticism amid reports that Burmese security forces are indiscriminately burning down homes and brutalizing Rohingya residents in Rakhine state. Despite warnings from a top U.N. official that the situation is a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” Suu Kyi on Monday said “solid evidence” would be required before any action is taken. “We are a young and fragile country facing many problems, but we have to cope with them all. We cannot just concentrate on the few,” she said.