RELIGION

Kofi Annan begins visit to Myanmar's troubled Rakhine state

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has begun a fact-finding visit to Myanmar's troubled Rakhine state, where the army has been accused of large-scale violence against members of the Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority, resulting in destruction of villages, civilian casualties and an exodus of refugees to neighboring Bangladesh.

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi asked Annan to help find ways to resolve long-standing ethnic and religious tensions between the Rohingya and the country's Buddhist majority. The area was the scene of intense intercommunal violence in 2012 that left hundreds dead and drove 140,000 people into camps for the internally displaced.

Suu Kyi on Friday told Singapore's Channel NewsAsia network that Rakhine's problems were exaggerated and the focus should be on resolving them.