Mr. Richardson, a former United Nations ambassador under President Bill Clinton, has a reputation as a diplomatic problem solver. He said last week en route to Myanmar that he intended to ensure the release of journalists during his visit.
He had been chosen by Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi to sit on a 10-member board set up to advise on how to carry out the recommendations of a previous commission headed by Kofi Annan, a former Secretary-General of the United Nations, about the resolution of the turmoil in Rakhine.
After three days of conversations and meetings with other members of the advisory board, Mr. Richardson said in his statement, "It became clear that I can not in good conscience serve in this role."
The advisory council, he said, "was likely to become a squad of cheerleaders for government policy instead of proposing genuine policy changes that are desperately needed to ensure peace, stability and development in the Rakhine State. "
Mr. Richardson said he had been "surprised" by how Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and other board members had disparaged human rights groups, the United Nations and international media organizations because of the way she had come before the world the Rohingya disaster.
was particularly critical of the chairman of the advisory board, Surakiart Sathirathai, a Thai politician, who Mr. Richardson said had tried to "avoid the real problems at the risk of facing our Myanmar hosts."
The board's agenda, Mr. Richardson said, was "devoid of any meaningful engagement with local communities in Rakhine, whose people are destined to serve on the advisory council."
Mr. It was not possible to contact Surakiart and Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi for comment. The Associated Press quoted a government spokesman from Myanmar, Zaw Htay: "We regret that Bill Richardson is issuing a statement and resigned from the commission, but that, of course, is beyond our control"
. The departure of Mr. Richardson could seriously damage the credibility of the advisory board. It could also further tarnish the reputation of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, who had been imprisoned for many years for confronting the Myanmar army in a campaign for democracy.
Many international leaders have criticized what they called Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi's indifferent response to the suffering of the Rohingya, who are widely despised among the predominantly Buddhist population of Myanmar.
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