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AKIPRESS.COM - Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has made her first public comments on the fate of her country's persecuted Rohingya minority since new violence broke out almost two weeks ago, CNN reported.
Suu Kyi, who as Myanmar's state counsellor is the country's de facto leader, claimed during a phone conversation with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan a "huge iceberg of misinformation" about the Rohingya crisis was being distributed to benefit "terrorists."
According to a readout of the call, she added her government was fighting to ensure "terrorism" didn't spread over the whole of Rakhine state.
Suu Kyi has come under fire in recent days for failing to speak out against the mass killings and displacement of Rohingya by her government, particularly given her previous image as a champion of human rights.
During the call, Suu Kyi said her government was already working to protect the rights of the Rohingya.
"We know very well, more than most, what it means to be deprived of human rights and democratic protection," Suu Kyi said, according to a readout of the call.
"So we make sure that all the people in our country are entitled to protection of their rights as well as, the right to, and not just political but social and humanitarian defense."
At least 123,000 Rohingya refugees have poured across the Bangladeshi border in just two weeks after Myanmar's military crackdown. The violence intensified after co-ordinated attacks on border posts which the government blamed on "terrorists."
Refugees brought with them stories of death and destruction from inside the western Myanmar province. Satellite imagery released by Human Rights Watch allegedly shows entire villages razed to the ground.