Şimal Çınar –TDO- On Wednesday, Former Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico who also is a former United Nations ambassador under President Bill Clinton resigned from a Myanmar advisory board on the Rohingya crisis. He blamed the country’s civilian leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who is a Nobel Peace Prize Winner of being unwilling to listen to bad news. He called the board a pro-government “cheerleading squad” and a whitewash. Mr. Richardson said “One of my objectives in joining the advisory board was to be helpful and try to sort out real, long-term policy solutions. But I discovered that this board was being used as a cheerleading squad for the government.” He also stated that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has declined to speak out forcefully against the Myanmar military’s campaign of execution, rape and arson against the Rohingya, which the United Nations and United States have labeled ethnic cleansing and she had “exploded” at him when he raised the detention of two Reuters journalists.
As a response, a spokesman for Myanmar’s government, U Zaw Htay, said that Mr. Richardson did not understand the “rules and regulations” of the board and accused him of overstepping his mandate. Mr. Zaw Htay said “He needs to understand clearly that he is supposed to give advice only about the Rakhine issue, not everything about Myanmar. He cannot say whatever he wants to say.”