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Rodrigo Duterte calls human rights activists a 'noisy bunch', says he 'pities' Aung San Suu Kyi for Rohingya criticism

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte said he pities Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi for being in the storm of international criticism over her handling of the Rohingya refugee crisis.

File image of Rodrigo Duterte with Aung San Suu Kyi. Reuters

File image of Rodrigo Duterte with Aung San Suu Kyi. Reuters

Duterte said he told Suu Kyi to ignore the human right activists, describing them as a "noisy bunch".

The two met in New Delhi this week at a summit of Southeast Asian leaders on the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-India ties.

Duterte was speaking at a meeting of the Philippines-India Business Forum in New Delhi on Friday.

Nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution by Myanmar's military and attacks by Buddhist mobs into Bangladesh. US and UN officials have described Myanmar's actions as "ethnic cleansing", while Suu Kyi, once regarded as a democracy icon, has been assailed as ineffective.

Stung by international criticism and accusations of ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, Suu Kyi had said in November last year that Rohingya who can prove they were residents of Myanmar would be accepted back.

It came after a United Nations General Assembly committee called on Myanmar to end military operations that have "led to the systematic violation and abuse of human rights" of Rohingya.

The move revived a UN resolution that was dropped last year due to Myanmar's progress on human rights.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jan 27, 2018 14:04 PM

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