Advisory board applauds plans for Myanmar visit to refugees

A board appointed by Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to offer recommendations on the crisis in Rakhine state, from which hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya have fled state violence, has applauded Bangladesh's agreement to let a Myanmar state minister visit border camps where the refugees live.

The board's chairman, Surakiart Sathirathai of Thailand, said he was happy to learn of Bangladesh's agreement in principle to the visit, which he hoped would take place in the very near future.

The visit by Social Welfare Minister Win Myat Aye was quietly announced Monday by Bangladeshi foreign ministry officials.

About 700,000 Rohingya who face severe discrimination in Myanmar have fled to neighboring Bangladesh to escape a brutal counterinsurgency campaign by Myanmar's army. Efforts are underway to arrange their return.