Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi said yesterday her government was doing its best to protect everyone in the strife-torn state of Rakhine, as the estimated number of Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh leapt by 18,000 in one day, to 164,000.
In a heartfelt letter to his fellow nobel peace prize victor, he asked her to speak up in order to end the violence against her country's Muslim minority.
"I am now elderly, decrepit and formally retired, but breaking my vow to remain silent on public affairs out of profound sadness", he writes in an open letter to his "beloved younger sister" Suu Kyi that was posted on social media.
Ms Suu Kyi lashed out this week at what she called "a huge iceberg of misinformation" over the crisis, "with the aim of promoting the interest of the terrorists".
'The images we are seeing of the suffering of the Rohingya fill us with pain and dread.
Suu Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1991, has recently been criticised for her lacklustre response to the ongoing crisis.
Launched on the website Change.org, the petition read, in part, that whenever a Nobel Peace Prize laureate "cannot maintain peace, then for the sake of peace itself, the prize needs to be returned or confiscated by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee".
'We pray for you to speak out for justice, human rights and the unity of your people'.
However, the organisation that oversees the coveted prize has said the honour can not be withdrawn.
The spokesperson for the UNHCR, Duniya Aslam Khan, issued a call for "urgent action" amid "a dramatic increase in the number of refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar's Northern Rakhine state" during a United Nations briefing. "It goes back to pre-colonial times".
Tens of thousands more are believed to be on the move inside Rakhine, fleeing burning villages, the army and ethnic Rakhine mobs - who Rohingya refugees accuse of attacking civilians - only to become stranded in hills without food, water, shelter or medical care.
Suu Kyi said the situation in Rakhine has been hard for many decades and so it was "a little unreasonable" to expect her administration, which has been in power for 18 months, to have resolved it already.