Communal violence has torn through Rakhine state since August 25, leaving hundreds dead and driving more than 410,000 of the Rohingya minority from Myanmar into Bangladesh.
But Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate, has so far refused to speak up for the stateless Rohingya or publicly urge restraint from the military.
Her intransigence in the face of huge international pressure has confounded a global community that once feted her as the champion of Myanmar’s democracy struggle.
But inside Myanmar, supporters say the 72-year-old lacks the power to pull in the army, with whom she is in a delicate power-sharing arrangement.
The UN has accused Myanmar’s army of “ethnic cleansing” over a campaign of alleged murder and arson that has left scores of Rohingya villages in ashes.
The army denies that, instead insisting its operations are a proportional response to the late August raids by Rohingya militants, who they label “extremist Bengali terrorists”.
Since then just under half of Rakhine’s Rohingya Muslim population has poured into Bangladesh, where they now languish in one of the world’s largest refugee camps.
Suu Kyi skipped this week’s UN General Assembly in New York to manage the crisis at home and deliver her televised address — the biggest yet of her time in office.