For the first time, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Myanmar Yanghee Lee speaks out to FRONTLINE about what happened when she confronted Aung San Suu Kyi last year with accounts of Rohingyas being killed.
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“She was becoming very, very defensive and she was saying these were all made-up stories — ‘U.N. is so one-sided, they are not helping the situation,'” says Lee, who was later barred from the country. “I said, ‘I just want to ask you that I need more access’ … And she looked at me and she said, ‘If you continue the narrative of the U.N., you know, you might not get that access’ … I couldn’t believe my ears and I thought, ‘She must be kidding me.’”
As the new FRONTLINE documentary “Myanmar’s Killing Fields” explores, the Nobel Laureate was once seen as Myanmar’s hope and a beacon for democracy — including by President Barack Obama, who lifted all sanctions on the country in 2016. But Suu Kyi, who has continued to defend her country from international criticism, has now been accused of standing by as her country’s military led an operation that killed thousands of civilians.
The Myanmar military denies abuses and insists that its campaign was solely a counter-insurgency “clearance operation” targeted against a militant Islamist Rohingya group, ARSA, that had attacked and killed security forces at police and army bases. But with secret footage filmed by a network of citizen activists, and firsthand accounts from victims and their families, the FRONTLINE documentary “Myanmar’s Killing Fields” depicts an orchestrated campaign to target civilians, state-sanctioned violence and mass murder.
Watch “Myanmar’s Killing Fields” starting May 8th, 2018: https://to.pbs.org/2Kujt8A
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Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation, the Park Foundation, The John and Helen Glessner Family Trust, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.