Daw Suu to address diplomats, press on Rakhine crisis next week

By NYAN HLAING LYNN | FRONTIER

NAY PYI TAW — After the government announced Wednesday that State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi would cancel a planned trip to the United Nations, spokesman U Zaw Htay told media she will address diplomats and reporters next week to discuss the ongoing crisis in Rakhine State.

Aung San Suu Kyi will deliver a state address on “national reconciliation and peace” on September 19 at the Myanmar International Convention Centre-2 in the capital, the same venue used for the government’s peace talks.

“Rather than discuss whether or not she will acknowledge current events in Myanmar, [I can say] she will tell the realities of the situation to the whole world,” Zaw Htay told reporters on Wednesday. “We will broadcast her address live.”

She will be speaking one day before Vice President U Henry Van Thio addresses the UN General Assembly, who is travelling to New York in her stead.

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Zaw Htay said the State Counsellor would not be attending the UN General Assembly meeting because of the ongoing “terrorism” threat in Maungdaw District, as well as the emergence of “racial and religious conflicts” in relation to protests against the government’s actions in Rakhine.

Zaw Htay added that the government had received intelligence suggesting the threat of terrorist attacks elsewhere in Myanmar, adding that President U Htin Kyaw was also “not in good health”.*

Aung San Suu Kyi attended a session of the UN General Assembly last year, where she received an earnest response after pledging to devise lasting solutions to the severe humanitarian situation Rakhine has faced since the communal violence of 2012.

*CORRECTION 1:00pm: An earlier version of this story reported that Aung San Suu Kyi, and not President Htin Kyaw, was in ill-health. Frontier apologises for the error.

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