Myanmar terminates Bill Richardson's participation in advisory board on Rakhine state

Bill Richardson resigned from an advisory panel trying to tackle the Rohingya crisis

Richardson went on to say that he was "taken aback by the vigor with which the media, the United Nations, human rights groups and in general the worldwide community were disparaged", as the panel held meetings with Myanmar officials during the past three days.

The war of words has heaped embarrassment on Aung San Suu Kyi, whose star as a rights defender continues to plummet over her failure to speak out for the Rohingya in the face of overwhelming evidence of the Muslim minority group's suffering.

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

Myanmar's de facto leader, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi established the board in December.

A statement on Thursday from the nine remaining members of the advisory board said they met this week "with open minds" and rejected Richardson's criticism that he feared the panel would be used as "a cheerleading squad".

The State Counsellor's Office released a statement on Thursday evening regarding Richardson. "Among the circus of commissions over many years, the Annan commission was a rare exception" in that it produced actionable suggestions and criticism of government policies, he said. They point to the case of Richardson, whose appointment has backfired by fuelling worldwide criticism of the state counsellor.

Aung San Suu Kyi's tepid response to the crisis and failure to openly rebuke the military has punctured her reputation as a rights icon.

A State Department spokesman said he could not immediately confirm details of Richardson's s.

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In a statement issued on Saturday, ARSA termed the Myanmar government and the army as "terrorist" while the extremist group claimed that the military is still continuing atrocities at Rakhine villages.

He concluded that Suu Kyi is "not getting good advice from her team" and though he liked her and respected her "enormously" but she has "not shown moral leadership on the Rakhine issue and the allegations made, and I regret that".

The Advisory Board's statement urged the government to allow United Nations humanitarian work in conflict zones and access to media as soon as possible.

Nor did Richardson feel Surakiart was committed to addressing the root causes of the conflict in Rakhine.

The Myanmar and Bangladesh governments initially agreed to start repatriating Rohingya refugees on January 23, but the process has been delayed.

The former diplomat affirmed that "the main reason I am resigning is that this advisory board is a whitewash", according to Al Jazeera.

The Advisory Board members visited several camps in Maungdaw and described their establishment as a positive step that would facilitate the refugees' safe return.

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