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Myanmar's Cardinal Bo rounds on Suu Kyi's critics

Criticism of de facto leader over Rohingya crackdown grossly unfair, he says

Myanmar's Cardinal Bo rounds on Suu Kyi's critics

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at Sittwe airport for an unannounced visit to restive Rakhine State in this Nov. 2, photo. Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon has called international criticism of Suu Kyi’s handling of the Rohingya crisis “very unfair.” (Photo by AFP)

November 20, 2017

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Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been subjected to unjust criticism over the military’s crackdown on the Muslim Rohingya ethnic group, according to the country’s Catholic Church leader.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Nov. 18 ahead of the pope’s visit to Myanmar starting on Nov. 27, Cardinal Charles Bo said international criticism of Suu Kyi and her perceived indifference to the persecution of the Rohingya has been “very unfair.”

Under Myanmar’s constitution, Suu Kyi has no authority to criticize the country’s military, which has a majority vote in parliament and controls important government departments, he said.

He said, the state counselor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate is working behind the scenes to negotiate with the military.

“Time will prove that she has her own agenda of moving the country toward democracy.”

At least 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State to Bangladesh during a crackdown in response to attacks in August on police outposts by a Muslim militant group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have accused Myanmar troops of atrocities including killings, torture, arson, and rape — charges that Myanmar denies.

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