One public servant skipped work. A butcher shut up her store for the day. A noodle seller watched on his phone.
They all wanted to hear what Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi had to say about an issue that has brought their country into the eye of an unprecedented storm of criticism: Violence in the country’s Rakhine State that has led to an exodus of more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh.
While Suu Kyi’s speech failed to deflect the growing international condemnationof Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya, the mood in Yangon, the country’s largest city, was upbeat.
Fifty-seven-year-old public servant Khin Maung Maung, like many of the dozen or so people CNN spoke to, blamed the crisis on the international media, which he said was “publishing the wrong information” about Rakhine State.
They say the international media focuses on the minority groups like the Rohingya, while ignoring the plight of Rakhine Buddhists, who are members of the majority religion in Myanmar.
Newspapers carry the government’s account of the crisis, casting it in terms of the military responding to attacks by terrorists. There are no references to the accusations of ethnic cleansing or alleged massacres.
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Published: September 19, 2017