Yangon, Myanmar (CNN)One public servant skipped work. A butcher shut up her store for the day. A noodle seller watched on his phone.
They all wanted to hear what Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi had to say about an issue that has brought their country into the eye of an unprecedented storm of criticism: Violence in the country’s Rakhine State that has led to an exodus of more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh.
While Suu Kyi’s speech failed to deflect the growing international condemnation of Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya, the mood in Yangon, the country’s largest city, was upbeat.
“We, the majority of the people, stand with her and we strongly believe that she can solve this problem,” said Phyu Wint Yee, 41, owner of a travel agency, who watched the speech at park in downtown Yangon, where a big screen was specially erected.