Aung San Suu Kyi Rejects Claims She’s ‘Soft’ on Myanmar’s Military

Aung San Suu Kyi in Parma

Aung San Suu Kyi in Parma, Italy. Photo: Comune Parma.

Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, under mounting criticism over her government’s military offensive against minority Muslim Rohingyas, on Tuesday rejected claims that she had softened her stand towards the military after her party took power last year.

In an interview with Radio Free Asia, she said she has remained firm with the generals since her days under house arrest during military junta rule.

“I’ve stood firm with the military before, and still do now,” the Nobel laureate told RFA in a wide-ranging interview covering topics such as the Rohingya refugee crisis, her election pledge to bring about political and other reforms, as well as economic growth and media freedom.

“We’ve never changed our stand,” Aung San Suu Kyi said, adding that her National League for Democracy (NLD) party’s goal has been national reconciliation “from the very beginning.”

“We have never criticized the military itself, but only their actions. We may disagree on these types of actions,” said Aung San Suu Kyi, who had spent more than a decade under house arrest before her election victory in 2015.

The military has come under severe criticism from the international community for its security crackdown against the Rohingyas in Myanmar’s Rakhine state since Rohingya militants staged deadly attacks on police posts on August 25.

Army-led security operations have left more than 1,000 dead according to U.N. figures and sent more than 500,000 people”—roughly half the Rohingya population in Rakhine state”—fleeing into neighboring Bangladesh, triggering an international humanitarian crisis.

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Reported by Khin Maung Soe of RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Nyein Shwe and Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Parameswaran Ponnudurai and Richard Finney.

Copyright © 1998-2017, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036.

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