Singapore: Once hailed as a champion in the fight for democracy, Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi was criticized on Wednesday by US Vice President Mike Pence for the nation’s persecution of Rohingya Muslims and the genocide carried out by Myanmar’s military.
The two leaders brief meeting at Asia-Pacific summit in Singapore lead to the brief debate on the Myanmar genocide.
The Vice President also added that he was keen to hear that those responsible for the violence in Myanmar would be held accountable.
“The violence and persecution by military and vigilantes that resulted in driving 700,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh is without excuse,” he said.
“I am anxious to hear the progress that you are making of holding those accountable who are responsible for the violence that displaced so many hundreds of thousands and created such suffering, including the loss of life,” he added.
He also said that the US is eager to hear some progress on Rohingya Muslims returning back to the western Myanmar state of Rakhine from vast refugees camps in southern Bangladesh where they now live.
The United States has also recognized the ethnic cleansing by Myanmar military as unethical with “genocidal intent”.
Myanmar maintains that its military operations in Rakhine were a legitimate response to attacks carried out on security forces by Rohingya insurgents in August last year.
Responding to Pence, said: “Of course people have different points of view but the point is that you should exchange these views and try to understand each other better.”
“In a way we can say that we understand our country better than any other country does and I’m sure you will say the same of yours, that you understand your country better than anybody else,” she added.
Except for Myanmar, almost everyone has accused Suu Kyi of carrying out genocide while the Amnesty International has also withdrawn its most prestigious human rights prize from Suu Kyi this week, accusing her of perpetuating human rights abuses by not speaking out about violence against the Rohingya.