Following State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s announcement that she would not attend next week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting, her office yesterday called a press briefing in Naypyidaw at which spokesperson Zaw Htay said she would instead address concerns about the crisis in Arakan State at an event in the Burmese capital on 19 September.
Zaw Htay said that the state counsellor would give a speech explaining her government’s efforts at peace and national reconciliation.
“The state counsellor will explain the true situation to the world,” he said.
The spokesman noted that members of the foreign media are invited to attend.
“We have also invited diplomats based in Thailand and New Delhi to the event on 19 September,” Zaw Htay said.
Suu Kyi, who is also Burma’s foreign minister, has been taking telephone calls from foreign leaders concerning the Arakan Crisis, the government spokesman said, without elaborating on whom she had spoken with.
Speaking to DVB this morning, political analysis Maung Maung Soe said that the state counsellor should explain to the world what has been happening in Arakan State since Rohingya militants attacked police posts and an army base on 25 August. He forecast that her speech would help dispel the continued international criticism aimed at her and Burma.
“It will be good for [Suu Kyi] and good for our country,” he said. “The international community is strongly critical of her because of much misinformation. I think the international community will be interested in what she has to say.”
Suu Kyi’s speech is to be delivered at Myanmar International Convention Center (2) in Naypyidaw next Tuesday, a day before the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.
Vice-President Henry Van Thio will represent Burma in Suu Kyi ‘s place at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, according to a report today in China’s official Xinhua news agency.
In her first address to the UN General Assembly as Burma’s de facto leader last September, Suu Kyi defended her government’s treatment of the self-identifying Rohingya minority in northwestern Arakan.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council yesterday expressed concern over the current security operations in the region that have seen an exodus of up to 400,000 Rohingyas to Bangladesh.
Guterres called on Burma to recognise the refugees’ right to return to Arakan State and reiterated a call for them to be granted nationality or at least a legal status that would allow them to lead a normal life.
Guterres and the UN Security Council met yesterday behind closed doors for the second time since the latest crisis erupted.