'Absence of moral leadership': U.S. diplomat quits Myanmar panel

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Bill Richardson, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and governor of the state of New Mexico, has resigned from his post within an global panel established by the government of Myanmar to help organize the return of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh.

If there's one thing President Duterte can advise Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, it is for her to ignore all criticisms about human rights and focus on doing her job. They also said it's too soon.

Recently appointed Deputy Information Minister U Aung Hla Tun told reporters in Naypyidaw on Friday that Richardson had raised an issue that was beyond the commission's mandate, and pointed out that the trial of the two reporters could only be dealt with by the president. "I pity her, because she seems to be caught in the middle being a Nobel peace prize victor and there is the ruckus where she is heavily criticized", Duterte said in a speech before Indian businessmen in New Delhi.

The board nominees conducted a meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on January 22.

Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest for 15 years for opposing military rule in Myanmar, a stance that earned her a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Mr Richardson said: "I think the Myanmar military is to blame a lot and the only person that can turn them around, I believe, is Aung San Suu Kyi, and she should start doing that".

According to Duterte, he told the Burmese leader to not worry about the criticism of human rights advocates regarding how Myanmar handles the plight of the Rohingya Muslims.

"I said, 'Do not mind the human rights".

"I still admire and like her, but I am sure that's not the case on her part", he said.

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"If you put human rights ahead in premium of values, then one day, just like the 4 million Filipinos in the Philippines, you would lose the dignity of your fellowmen".

It was not clear whether Duterte made the remark during the just concluded Association of Southeast Asian Nations - India Commemorative Summit here.

"That's the problem. You impose your values, you are very strong and at that United Nations has no objective at all actually for mankind", Duterte said.

"The UN has no objective at all, actually, for mankind", he said.

"With all its unutility (sic), it has not prevented any war".

"Me? I am trying to protect my country".

The report also claimed that Duterte's war on drugs had resulted in an "epidemic of police shootings-often portrayed as "shootouts" but repeatedly shown to be summary executions-[and] had left more than 12,000 people killed". Almost 4,000 drug suspects have been killed since the tough-talking Filipino leader came to office, official police records say.

Duterte isn't known for measuring words before speaking on record.

While the President has ignored worldwide criticism to his campaign, he has responded to public outcry to the deaths of teenagers at the hands of police by putting the Philippine National Police to a supporting role to the much smaller Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

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