Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has visited Rakhine for the first time since violence erupted in the state in late August. Her brief trip allowed her only short stops in areas affected by the military operation against Rohingya militants.
She has been criticised around the world for not stopping the military crackdown, amid allegations of ethnic cleansing. About 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since 25 August.
Ms Suu Kyi visited the regional capital Sittwe and other towns during an unannounced one-day trip. Most of the Rohingyas have now joined the massive exodus into Bangladesh, but Ms Suu Kyi did meet one of the remaining Muslim communities.
Her visit, accompanied by one of Myanmar’s wealthiest businessmen, suggests the civilian government wants to be seen to be taking the lead now in dealing with Rakhine state, reports the BBC’s Jonathan Head. She argues the problems there can best be resolved through development and investment.