Myanmar’s Suu Kyi arrives at Clark for Asean Summit
CLARK FREEPORT—Myanmar’s state counsellor and foreign minister Aung San Suu Kyi arrived at the Clark International Airport on Saturday afternoon for the Association Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Manila.
Suu Kyi was welcomed by Foreign Affairs Asst. Sec. Jeryl Santos. She will represent Myanmar President Htin Kyaw, who usually sends a representative to multilateral meetings.
Suu Kyi was in the Philippines last April for the Asean Leaders’ Summit. She met with President Rodrigo Duterte in Myanmar a month before her first visit to Manila.
A Nobel Peace laureate, Suu Kyi has faced criticisms for not being vocal on the violence against her country’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.
More than half a million people have fled to neighboring country Bangladesh since August due to alleged atrocities by security forces as part of a crackdown on a newly established militant group.
Because of this, some fellow winners have called for Suu Kyi to be stripped off her Nobel Peace Prize. She received the award in 1991 for her campaign for democracy and human rights amid a military-backed government.
She became the state of counselor of Myanmar in 2015, five years after her release from detention of 15 years.
Even President Rodrigo Duterte assailed Suu Kyi last September for her alleged failure to solve the refugee crisis.
Duterte said human-rights advocates continue to condemn his bloody campaign on illegal drugs while there is violence in other parts of the world, citing the Rohingya crisis as an example.
Myanmar is a member of the Asean, along with the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Suu Kyi will also rub elbows with the leaders and representatives of dialogue partners from Australia, Canada, China, European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia, USA, and United Nations who will attend the Summit.
The Philippines is this year’s host of the Asean, which is celebrating its 50th founding anniversary. /jpv
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