Friday, 21 September, 2018

Suu Kyi defends court decision to jail journalists

The United Nations has said the treatment of Rohingya in Buddhist-majority Myanmar may amount to genocide a report that Suu Kyi's government has rejected Aung San Suu Kyi: Rohingya crisis 'could have been handled better'
Pablo Mccormick | 14 September, 2018, 06:05

Instead, two senior Ministers in her government, Kyaw Tint Swe and Kyaw Tin - who in the past defended Myanmar's former military regime on the global stage - would attend and "explain current developments on repatriation and cooperation with worldwide organisations", the official, permanent secretary Myint Thu, was paraphrased as saying.

But Aung San Suu Kyi declined to criticize what she delicately referred to as "the military aspect" in her talk at the World Economic Forum on Asean.

She said observers saw this trial as a test for Myanmar democracy and that "it is pretty clear that the test has failed".

The U.S. has come out in support of the journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were arrested under a colonial-era law while reporting on Myanmar's persecution of Rohingya Muslims.

Earlier on Thursday, Suu Kyi at the same WEF session said in hindsight her government could have handled the situation in Rakhine state better. "The case was held in open court".

On Wednesday, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were honoured by a foundation set up by the late Win Tin, one of the country's most prominent political prisoners and a close ally of Aung San Suu Kyi.

ISS images show massive Hurricane Florence from 400 km up
Flooding risks are also causing worries over the more than 300 wild horses living on North Carolina's coasts. The surge won't be as bad as it potentially could have been, however, and the winds won't be as strong.

Her comments drew an indignant response from rights groups who have urged the Nobel Laureate to press for a presidential pardon for the reporters.

Suu Kyi has fallen from grace in the global community over the violence against the Rohingya over the past year.

The military, which ruled Myanmar for almost 50 years and still shares power with the civilian authorities, kept Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for more than 15 years before her release in 2010.

Sean Bain, of the International Commission of Jurists, said: "Open courts are created to shed light on the justice process".

"If we believe in the rule of law, they have every right to appeal the judgment and to point out why the judgment was wrong".

Suu Kyi has curtailed her overseas travel as calls for accountability have grown since some 700,000 Rohingya fled the country a year ago, according to United Nations agencies, as security forces launched a brutal response to insurgent attacks in August.

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Ms. Suu Kyi's statements reinforce her reluctance to criticize the armed forces for what a United Nations fact-finding mission calls a possible genocide.

The International Criminal Court has said it has jurisdiction to open an investigation, even though Myanmar is not a member of the tribunal.

Suu Kyi, who has so far bristled at foreign criticism of her country and defended the crackdown against "terrorists" from the Muslim minority, also addressed the army's handling of the crisis.

Mogherini said their reporting matched testimony that she had heard from Rohingya in Bangladesh.

The stateless Rohingya are denied citizenship in Myanmar and widely reviled in the Buddhist-majority country.

The Rohingya would stay in refugee camps until they return to Myanmar or are resettled in other countries, Haque said.

Oil slips from four-month highs on economic concerns
Yesterday's close above the key resistance line paves the way for a test of the $80 barrel mark, before a retest of the YTD high. Novak said global oil markets were "fragile" due to geopolitical risks and supply disruptions.

The jailing of the Reuters reporters has sent a chill through Myanmar's nascent media scene. The journalists were investigating the killing of Rohingya villagers by security forces at the time of their arrest last December, and had pleaded not guilty.

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