Aung San Suu Kyi says she 'could step down' as Burma leader

Ben Kentish
Aung San Suu Kyi said she would step down if Burmese people thought her

Aung San Suu Kyi has said she will step down as leader of Burma if the public decide she is not doing a good enough job.

The Burmese State Counsellor also rejected the United Nation's (UN) decision to launch a fact-finding operation to investigate alleged human rights abuses in the country.

Speaking on state-run television during her State of the Union address marking one year since she took office, Ms San Suu Kyi said she would resign if her “best effort is not enough”.

“I have said since the beginning that I would try my best,” she said, according to The Irrawady. “If people think my best effort is not enough for them and if there are any other persons or organisations who can do better than us, we are ready to step back.”

“The peace process is not easy, but we have a lot of hope…On the road to peace, sometimes we move forward, or stop for a while or we may even step back a little. But we clearly know our goal and we will move forward to achieve it.”

The State Counsellor criticised UN efforts to send a fact-finding mission to Burma to investigate allegations of violence against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

The UN-backed Human Rights Council announced last week that it would “dispatch urgently” a team to investigate alleged abuses by the Burmese military.

"We value the support, help and sympathy of our friends around the world, in our efforts toward peace and national reconciliation”, Ms San Suu Kyi said. “But we must work ourselves for our country’s responsibilities, because we are the ones who best understand what our country needs.”

“We don’t accept [the UN’s] decision as it is not suitable for the situation of our country. It does not mean we disrespect the UN."

The Rohingya have long faced discrimination in Burma but violence intensified last October when the army launched new operations against the minority group following the killing of nine border guards in Rohingya areas.

Human rights organisations claim soldiers and security forces have killed and raped civilians, destroyed villages and made thousands of people homeless. More than 75,000 Rohingya have reportedly fled to Bangladesh.

Government officials insist the reports are "exaggerated". The country's own investigation has denied allegations of rape, but is looking into the other claims.

​Yanghee Le, the UN human rights office’s special rapporteur for Burma, said earlier this month that the situation is “currently worse than at any point in the last few years”.

She expressed disappointment that the Human Rights Council was only sending a fact-finding operation and not a full commission of inquiry.