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Myanmar Ready For Refugees Wishing To Return: Aung San Suu Kyi On Rohingya Crisis

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| September 19 , 2017 , 10:07 IST

The Rohingya refugee crisis of the 'stateless' Rohingyas fleeing from the Rakhine state of Myanmar has gained international attention, as well as criticisms for Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, with many calling for her to be stripped of her Nobel Peace Prize.

In response to the mass exodus of the Rohingyas, Suu Kyi delivered a State of the Union Address to the citizens of the nation, where she confirmed that Myanmar is ready to start a refugee verification process for those who want to return.

"Myanmar prepared to start a refugee verification process for those who wish to return," said Aung San Suu Kyi.

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"On Aug 25, 30 police outposts were attacked; consequently govt declared Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army a terrorist group," the state counsellor said, describing the latest cause of the mass exodus.

"Myanmar is a complex nation. People expect us to overcome all the challenges in shortest time possible. Peace and stability was something we had to achieve after nearly 70 yrs of internal conflict," said Aung San Suu Kyi.

"Myanmar feels deeply for suffering of all groups in Rakhine, concerned to hear about Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh. We would like to find out why this exodus is happening, would like to talk to the people who have fled," said Suu Kyi.

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"We condemn all human rights violations, we are committed to peace and rule of law. Government has been making every effort to restore peace and stability and to bring harmony in Rakhine communities," she continued.

"Myanmar does not fear international scrutiny, committed to sustainable solution in Rakhine state. Many Muslim villagers have remained, not all have fled. Invite members of the international community to visit," said Suu Kyi.

"We have made a central committee for implementing rule of law and development in Rakhine. We have invited Dr. Kofi Annan to lead a commission that would help us resolve long-standing problems in Rakhine," Suu Kyi added.

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"There have been allegations and counter allegations, will listen to all, culprits will be punished irrespective of race or religion. Throughout the last year, we continued with our program of development and establishment of peace," she said.

"We would like you(world) to think of our country as a whole, not just as little afflicted areas. We don't want Myanmar to be a nation divided by religious beliefs or ethnicities. Hate and fear are main scourges," said Aung San Suu Kyi.

Although India has traditionally received refugees with open arms, the centre has called for the expulsion of Rohingya refugees, terming them as a threat to the nation.