Myanmar slams US diplomat for ‘personal attack’ on Suu Kyi

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YANGON:  US diplomat Bill Richardson was accused yesterday of a "personal attack" on Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi after an excoriating take down of the former darling of the human rights community as he resigned from a panel on the Rohingya crisis.

A one-time Suu Kyi ally, Mr Richardson was one of five foreign members hand picked by Myanmar's civilian leader to serve on the committee.

But after a three-day visit to Myanmar, Mr Richardson struck out at his hosts, saying he could not in "good conscience" sit on a panel he feared would only "whitewash" the causes of the Rohingya crisis.

He lambasted Ms Suu Kyi, a Nobel Laureate, for an "absence of moral leadership" over Rakhine and described her "furious response" to his calls to free two Reuters journalists arrested covering the crisis.

A Myanmar government spokesman hit back yesterday, accusing the former New Mexico Governor of over-stepping the mark.

"He should review himself over his personal attack against our State Counsellor," government spokesman Zaw Htay said.

"We understand his emotion about the two Reuters correspondents. However, he needs to understand, rather than blaming the Myanmar nation and the State Counsellor." - AFP