Rohingya refugees take shelter under a tarpaulin as it rains at Thaingkhali makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, September 14, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
September 14 (REUTERS) – Nearly 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since a surge in violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state began on Aug 25.
The exodus of refugees, sparked by a fierce military response to a series of Rohingya militant attacks, is the most pressing problem Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has faced since becoming leader last year.
Here are a selection of quotes on the Rohingya crisis:
AUNG SAN SUU KYI – 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, Myanmar leader
“We have to take care of our citizens. We have to take care of everybody who is in our country, whether or not they are our citizens.” (Sept 7 – http://reut.rs/2x1S4Ey)
ANTONIO GUTERRES – United Nations Secretary General
“When one-third of the Rohingya population had to flee the country, could you find a better word to describe it?” (Sept 14 – reply to journalist who asked if the situation was ‘ethnic cleansing’ – http://bit.ly/2xyXGcL)
NIKKI HALEY – U.S. Ambassador to United Nations
“If the reports of killings, rapes and landmines are true, these are egregious unacceptable acts.” (Sept 14 – http://bit.ly/2wrbsJ6)
HONG LIANG – China’s ambassador to Myanmar
“The stance of China regarding the terrorist attacks in Rakhine is clear, it is just an internal affair.” (Sept 14 – quoted by the Global New Light of Myanmar – http://bit.ly/2wrkGFm)
ZED RA’AD AL-HUSSEIN – United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
“Because Myanmar has refused access to human rights investigators, the current situation cannot yet be fully assessed, but the situation remains or seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” (Sept 11 – http://bit.ly/2wXkp1q)
DESMOND TUTU – 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, anti-apartheid leader
“My dear sister: If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep.” (Sept 7 – http://bit.ly/2xQIV0P)
MALALA YOUSAFZAI – 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, women’s rights activist
“Over the last several years, I have repeatedly condemned this tragic and shameful treatment. I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same.
“The world is waiting and the Rohingya Muslims are waiting.” (Sept 4 – http://bit.ly/2eRtMZq)
NOBEL WOMEN’S INITIATIVE – Open letter to Aung San Suu Kyi from five Nobel Peace laureates
“How many Rohingya have to die; how many Rohingya women will be raped; how many communities will be razed before you raise your voice in defense of those who have no voice? (Sept 11 – http://bit.ly/2wWrA7u)
PETITION HOSTED ON CHANGE.ORG – Online petition urging Nobel committee to revoke Suu Kyi’s peace prize gathers more than 420,000 signatures.
“Until this second, the de facto ruler of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, has done virtually nothing to stop this crime against humanity in her country.” (http://bit.ly/1WBrfjn)