The leader of a charity founded by Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi refused to discuss the prospect of donating to the cause of Rohingya refugees at the launch of a major fundraiser on Tuesday.
The Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, named after Suu Kyi’s mother, organized the press conference to announce its upcoming Black-Tie Charity Gala Dinner, which will take place on Oct. 5 and aim to raise at least US$70,000 for “worthy causes”.
Officials representing donor organizations such as the Marga Group and CB Bank commended that foundation for its charitable work in Myanmar, but no details were given on how the raised funds would be spent.
When asked whether the foundation would consider donating to the cause of Rohingya refugees who have been displaced from Myanmar by military violence, Dr. Thant Thaw Kaung, a member of the foundation’s executive committee said: “That is a political issue. We are not political.”
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi was accused last month by UN investigators of having “contributed to the commission of atrocity crimes” by failing to use her position as head of government to protect civilians from military violence.
Suu Kyi has regularly attended foundation events since entering political office, and a bronze bust in her likeness was placed in front of the podium where speakers briefed reporters about the upcoming fundraiser.
Last week, an online public petition was launched last week calling on the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation to “stand up for Myanmar’s most abused population”. It posits that Aung San Suu Kyi’s support for Rohingya refugees “through the foundation named after her mother would be an easy yet meaningful gesture”.
Dr. Thant Thaw Kaung, however, disagreed. When asked about the petition, he said: “This has nothing to do with our foundation.”
The petition can be found here.