Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has urged her people to remain united to face the “challenges”, both internal and external, as she marked two years of the National League for Democracy (NLD) government in power on Sunday.
In a televised speech, Suu Kyi called for collective efforts “for the emergence of a just and free nation”. Yet, she made only a passing reference to the crisis in the Rakhine state where the Rohingya Muslims faced persecution.
“Let us strive collectively for the emergence of a just and free nation— a nation which will guarantee equal rights and equality, a nation which practices a pure ideology. Not only in Rakhine State which has received the attention of the world, but in the entire country collectively for security of mind and body,” she said.
Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has been facing intense global condemnation and scrutiny for her handling of the Rohingya crisis. A violent military crackdown since August 2017 has forced exodus of some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims, a long-persecuted stateless minority, into Bangladesh which the UN termed as ethnic cleansing. The UN further demanded that all atrocities committed against the Rohingyas in Myanmar be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for trial.
Earlier, in his inaugural address on 30 Mach, Myanmar’s new President U Win Myint promised to amend the country’s army-written Constitution, brining institutional reforms and making efforts “to prevent human rights violations”.