Some critics have called for Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi to be stripped of her Nobel Peace Prize, which she won in 1991 for standing up to Myanmar’s military junta in a campaign for democracy.
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi is prohibited under the country’s Constitution from being president, because her children are British citizens, as was her husband. But in her role as state counselor, as well as leader of the majority party in Parliament, she is the most powerful person in the government.
There had been widespread expectation that she would speak about the Rohingya killings at the General Assembly. But a spokesman for her office, Zaw Htay, told reporters in Myanmar on Wednesday that she had canceled her trip because of the crisis.
“She is concentrating on establishing stability,” the spokesman said in remarks quoted by news agencies.
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, a 72-year-old widow, endured many years of house arrest for her defiance of Myanmar’s generals and had long been considered a heroine of modern times. She resumed her national political prominence after being released in 2010. The country’s majority party introduced a bill in Parliament in 2016 and created a new post for her as “state counselor,” which some analysts have compared to prime minister.
The anger and despondency over her failure to stop the Rohingya persecution has infected her fellow Nobel laureates.
In an open letter to Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi published last week, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa said, “My dear sister: If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep.”