YANGON, Myanmar – Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has resigned from an advisory panel on Myanmar's massive Rohingya refugee crisis.
In an interview with The Associated Press he calls the panel a "whitewash and a cheerleading operation" for Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The sudden resignation Wednesday of probably the panel's most prominent member casts deep doubt on international efforts to resolve the fallout from a Myanmar military operation against the Rohingya Muslims that the United Nations has called "textbook ethnic cleansing."
It also offers possible insight into the thinking of Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate once revered as an icon of human rights.
Richardson castigated Suu Kyi for blaming outsiders for the crisis instead of looking honestly at military actions that have forced nearly 700,000 Rohingya to flee to squalid refugee camps in Bangladesh.