Richardson says Suu Kyi living in a 'bubble'

Kamran Reza Chowdhury  BenarNews

U.S. diplomat BillRichardson resigned early Thursday from an Aung San Suu Kyi-appointed panel set up to ease communal tensions in Myanmar's Rakhine State and hit out at the Nobel Laureate for an "absence of moral leadership" over the crisis.

Duterte said he had a chance to talk to Suu Kyi, Myanmar's state counselor, and told the latter not to mind her critics.

Richardson went on to say that he was "taken aback by the vigor with which the media, the United Nations, human rights groups and in general the worldwide community were disparaged", as the panel held meetings with Myanmar officials during the past three days.

Two years ago, Myanmar celebrated a moment many thought would never come as democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi took her seat at the head of the. She has experienced sustained worldwide condemnation in recent months regarding her perceived silence over the exodus of Rohingya refugees from northern Rakhine's Maungdaw District following military operations there. He said, "I think Mr. Richardson was a little bit in a hurry to make that statement and it's unfair".

A war of words has erupted in Myanmar after veteran USA diplomat Bill Richardson resigned from an advisory panel set up to address the Rohingya crisis.

Zaw Htay, Suu Kyi's spokesperson, said the panel had convened to discuss issues related to the "Rakhine issue" and that Richardson had veered to a "topic outside the agenda of the meetings and went beyond the framework".

Around 688,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from Rakhine to Bangladesh in recent months to escape an army crackdown following insurgent attacks on security forces.

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Richardson joined the Myanmar board as a private citizen, but the US State Department said the Washington administration shares many of his concerns.

In the meantime, a Myanmar government spokesman also hit back on Thursday, accusing Richardson of over-stepping the mark in his stinging resignation letter. There is a "power bubble that has been created around her", filled with people who "tell her how great things are", he said.

Two Reuters journalists were recently jailed for 14 years after they filed reports on the plight of Rohingya Muslims. "She needs to start listening to her friends, people like me that are giving her frank advice that things are not going well, but she doesn't seem to want to hear this". Inside Myanmar the Rohingya are widely regarded as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh even though many have lived there for generations.

United Nations officials, former United States president Barack Obama, European lawmakers, former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria, and a slew of Philippine and global human rights groups have criticized him for his bloody drug war.

Surakiart rejected the allegation, saying he had never made such a statement.

The former diplomat affirmed that "the main reason I am resigning is that this advisory board is a whitewash", according to Al Jazeera. "There's been too much emphasis on quick results rather than assuring that safety is guaranteed".