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Desmond Tutu criticises Aung Suu Kyi's silence on 'slow genocide' of Rohingya community in Myanmar

Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu condemned Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s silence on the “slow genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya community by Myanmar’s military forces.

In a letter to the fellow Nobel laureate he said,

“I am now elderly, decrepit and formally retired, but breaking my vow to remain silent on public affairs out of profound sadness about the plight of the Muslim minority in your country, the Rohingya. 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… We pray for you to speak out for justice, human rights and the unit of your people. We pray for you to intervene.”

The letter further added,

“Your emergence into public life allayed our concerns about violence being perpetrated against members of the Rohingya. But what some have called ‘ethnic cleansing’ and others ‘a slow genocide’ has persisted – and recently accelerated. The images we are seeing of the suffering of the Rohingya fill us with pain and dread.”

As the United Nations estimates that the number of refugees to have crossed into Bangladesh has reached over 250,000. Tutu’s letter joins a growing criticism of  Suu Kyi’s silence on the matter.

The United Nations secretary general, Antonia Guterres, on Tuesday said, the government clearance operations in Rakhine risked ethnic cleansing.

See full letter here.