Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is going to raise the issue of the ongoing Rohingya crisis at the 72nd session of United Nations General Assembly, which Myanmar State Counsellor and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi is not attending this year, according to news reports.
The 72nd session of the UN General Assembly is scheduled to convene at the UN headquarters in New York, US from September 12 to September 25.
Sources in the ruling Awami League said at the General Assembly, Hasina will focus on strengthening global support for the ethnic minority group currently being persecuted by Myanmar security forces, as well as create further pressure on Myanmar to end the violent crackdown in Rakhine state, home to the Rohingya community, reported Bangla Tribune.
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The ultimately goal is to ensure safe and dignified repatriation of the Rohingya refugees currently living on Bangladesh to Myanmar, the sources added.
The prime minister visited Kutupalong registered refugee camp in Ukhiya, Cox's Bazar on Tuesday, where she learnt from the new refugees of the atrocities the security forces of Myanmar are committing against them.
Sources said she planned to share her experience at Kutupalong, as well as all the latest data from Cox's Bazar, at the General Assembly.
Meanwhile, Suu Kyi has decided not to attend the UN General Assembly in order to focus on internal issues, reported Myanmar news agency The Irrawaddy.
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“Under the current circumstances, the state counsellor has domestic issues that need attention and therefore, Vice-President [Henry Van Thio] will lead Myanmar’s delegation. National Security Adviser U Thaung Tun will accompany him,” Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson U Kyaw Zeya told The Irrawaddy.
The original plan was for Suu Kyi to lead the delegation but that was only tentative, he added.
“The vice president will explain Myanmar’s stance at the session,” said U Kyaw Zeya.
Suu Kyi already faces worldwide criticism for not condemning or stopping the latest episode of military crackdown on the Rohingya people which killed at least 1,000 people in the last two weeks, according to the UN.
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As of Tuesday, the UN estimates that around 370,000 Rohingya men, women and children have entered Bangladesh to escape the military persecution, which began in response to insurgent attacks on Myanmar police outposts and an army base on August 25.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, said security operations in Rakhine state are “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”