Myanmar's Suu Kyi 'unwell', scraps Australia public appearance

Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi attends the Leaders Plenary Session of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Australia Special Summit in Sydney on 18 March 2018

Rohingya plight no longer a domestic issue: Najib

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi addressed the matter comprehensively at some considerable length herself..."

Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi has cancelled her only Australian public appearance in Sydney tomorrow.

She is due to hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday, following the Australia-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders special summit in Sydney over the weekend.

"Aung San Suu Kyi. seeks support from ASEAN and other nations to provide help from a humanitarian and capacity-building point-of-view", Turnbull said, according to the British daily newspaper The Guardian.

Despite Bishop's promise to raise the issue, Human Rights Watch's Australia Director Elaine Pearson told Asian Correspondent ahead of the Asean summit last week that: "ultimately, I don't think, given the gravity of these abuses, that just having a quiet chat behind closed doors is really enough". Everyone seeks to end the suffering.

In the days leading up to the summit, the Australian government was urged by rights groups to condemn Suu Kyi for her country's persecution of the Rohingya.

An estimated 700,000 Rohingya people have poured across the border into Bangladesh refugee camps since last August following a military crackdown.

It comes amid ongoing criticism of Ms Suu Kyi over the crisis faced by Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority.

The Tatmadaw army of Burma stands accused of mass rape, killings and arson against civilians in scores of Muslim villages in the wake of an attack by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on military and police outposts on Aug 25, 2017. Many in the global community have condemned the violence, suggesting it could constitute ethnic cleansing or even genocide.


She was welcomed to Parliament House in Canberra with a 19-gun salute on Monday, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and senior representatives from the government and opposition in attendance.

Ms Suu Kyi last visited Canberra in 2013 on a five-day Australian tour, before she was allowed to stand for parliament, following her release from nearly 15 years of house arrest in 2010.

Though Suu Kyi has been the de facto head of Myanmar's civilian government since her party took power, she is limited in her control of the country by a constitution written by the outgoing junta.

Speaking in Sydney with Suu Kyi sitting just metres away, he warned that many desperate people could fall prey to extremist groups like Islamic State.

Earlier this month, United Nations independent investigator on human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee said that the military's crackdown bore the "hallmarks of genocide".

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak ramped up pressure on her Saturday when he said the Rohingya issue could threaten regional security.

Ms Suu Kyi has not denounced military action or addressed genocide claims.

Australia's attorney general on Saturday rejected a private bid by activist lawyers to have Suu Kyi face charges for crimes against humanity, saying she has diplomatic immunity.

Latest News