Aung San Suu Kyi makes a surprise visit to troubled Maungdaw township

Myanmar’s State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi made an unannounced one-day visit to Maungdaw township in the troubled northern Rakhine state on Thursday (Nov 2), The Irrawaddy Online reported.

The state counselor visited both Arakanese and Rohingya communities in four areas in Maungdaw township – the scene of militant attacks on police outposts on Aug 25 which provoked retaliation by the Myanmar armed forces, culminating in the exodus of more than 600,000 Rohingyas to Bangladesh since then.

At least 30,000 Arakanese and Hindus have been internally displaced by the violence.

Several Maungdaw residents told The Irrawaddy that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi met villagers at Pan Taw Pyin village in southern Maugndaw.  During the visit, she told villagers through an interpreter that she was there to see progress of village resettlement plan.

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi (centre L) meets with Myo ethnic people in northern Maungdaw, Myanmar’s Rakhine State on November 2, 2017. Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrived on her first visit to conflict-battered northern Rakhine State on November 2, an official said, an unannounced trip to an area that has seen most of its Rohingya Muslim population forced out by an army campaign. / AFP PHOTO / STR

Village administrator U Annawar quoted the state counselor as telling dozens of Muslim villagers who showed up to see her.  “Please tell me frankly what you need.  We all have to try out for a peaceful living.  I want your children to have a good education for their better future.  If you have any difficulties, please let me know.”

The villagers said they didn’t have any questions to ask her, according to Annawar.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also visited  Khone Taing village, an ethnic Mro settlement where militants killed six Mro and torched 40 houses on Aug 28.