Philippine leader tells Suu Kyi to ignore rights criticism

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Philippine leader tells Suu Kyi to ignore rights criticism
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for the media ahead of their meeting in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Jan.24, 2018. The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, are gathering in New Delhi to celebrate 25 years of the group's ties with India. (AP Photo)

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Philippine president says he pities Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi for being in the storm of international criticism over her handling of the Rohingya refugee crisis.

President Rodrigo Dutertean says 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. U.S. and U.N. officials have described Myanmar’s actions as “ethnic cleansing” while Suu Kyi, once regarded as a democracy icon, has been assailed as ineffective.