GENEVA: Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi is "appalled" at the Rohingya refugee crisis in her country and is determined to fix it, one of her advisers told reporters on Friday (Oct 13).
The adviser added that Aung San Suu Kyi, however, needs to be careful not to inflame the situation further.
"She is appalled by what she has seen. She does care deeply about this. I know that does not always come across. But she really does," said the adviser, who asked not to be quoted by name.
The adviser said Aung San Suu Kyi is determined to find a way for people who have fled Myanmar to return safely and with dignity.
When asked why she did not criticise the military, the adviser said the Novel Peace laureate is trying to move away from inflammatory remarks, citing the "perilous position" of Myanmar's democratic transition.
Myanmar's de-facto leader last month publicly addressed concerns over the deadly conflict in Rakhine State, highlighting her government's commitment to restore peace, stability and rule of law in the region scarred by armed conflict between insurgents – the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) – and security forces.
Without mentioning the word Rohingya, she uttered carefully-worded lines of condemnation, saying that Myanmar has "never been soft on human rights".
Half a million ethnic Rohingya Muslims have fled across the border to Bangladesh since violence erupted in August. ARSA insurgents had launched coordinated attacks on more than 30 police posts, prompting the military to hit back.
Even though many Rohingya residents managed to escape the violence alive, they now face hunger and illness in Bangladesh, as aid agencies struggle to cope with the scale of the humanitarian crisis.
So far, there has been no independent investigation into the alleged human rights violations in Rakhine State.
The United Nations also called for "greater access" for humanitarian and human rights actors as well as media to comprehensively assess the situation on the ground.