Myanmar’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi will not attend the United Nations General Assembly later this month, her spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Spokesperson Zaw Htay said the country’s Vice-President Henry Van Thio will attend the meeting instead, but did not say why. The decision comes as Suu Kyi faces global criticism over her handling of the Rohingya Muslims crisis. UN human rights commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein had also accused Myanmar of a “systemic attack” on members of the community and had called it an example of “ethnic cleansing”.
When Suu Kyi had become Myanmar’s first civilian leader in decades, the Nobel Peace Prize winner had promised to find a solution to religious violence in the Rakhine state. Several leaders have now asked her Nobel Prize be revoked, but the Norwegian Nobel Institute had said it cannot take back her award.
The Rohingya crisis
Rohingyas have been denied citizenship in Myanmar, and are classified as illegal immigrants, despite them claiming roots going back centuries in the country. The community has been subjected to violence by the Buddhist majority and the Army in Myanmar. The country’s de-facto leader and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi has been criticised for failing to stand up for more than 10 lakh stateless Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine.