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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, October 23, 2017

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Myanmar‘s Aung San Suu Kyi to Give National Address on Rakhine Crisis

Televised address

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Myanmar's de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi is scheduled to give a highly anticipated national speech Tuesday addressing her country's crisis in Rakhine state, where ongoing violence has led about 400,000 ethnic Rohingya to flee to neighboring Bangladesh in recent weeks.

Rohingya militants attacked Burmese security forces in late August. Since then, analysts and rights workers say the Burmese military has carried out a brutal crackdown that has burned entire villages and killed fleeing women and children.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has come under strong international criticism for not speaking out more forcefully on the situation. Aung San Suu Kyi cancelled her appearance at the United Nations General Assembly this week in part to address the ongoing crisis at home.

Speaking on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York Monday, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he held a private meeting with a small group of concerned countries to address the issue.

"Today's high-level meeting is a first step, but it can't be the last," said Louis Charbonneau, U.N. director at Human Rights Watch. "This discussion should lead to strong U.N. action to compel Myanmar security services to end their ethnic cleansing campaign."

Charbonneau urged the General Assembly to draft a resolution condemning the abuses and called on the Security Council to impose targeted sanctions and an arms embargo on the commanders leading the military crackdown.

Aung San Suu Kyi's televised address is expected to be in English and Burmese, and is scheduled to start after 11 p.m. EDT Monday. It will be streamed live on www.voanews.com.

 

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