Suu Kyi says Myanmar dealing with Rakhine under rule of law

Tokyo: Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi said today that her government is following the law in dealing with the situation in Rakhine state, where police have reportedly beaten and raped minority Rohingya Muslims.

Her statement came one day after the US called for restoration of full humanitarian access to the strife-hit region of western Myanmar where the United Nations says more than 150,000 people are being denied aid.

Suu Kyi, in a meeting in Tokyo with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, said the Rakhine issue is extremely delicate and must be handled with care, according to a summary released by Japan’s Foreign Ministry.

She told Kishida that the Myanmar government is responding to the situation based on the principle of the rule of law, the ministry said.

Human rights groups have raised alarm over a three-week surge in violence by security forces in Rakhine, home to many Rohingya. The violence followed the killings of nine police officers at border posts on October 9.

Kishida said violence should not be permitted, and that he welcomes efforts toward peace and stability in the region, according to the summary. He added that Japan would support those efforts by donating a new ship, on top of two used boats and food aid given earlier for displaced persons.

Suu Kyi, who holds the titles of state counsellor and foreign minister, is on a five-day visit to Japan.