Why Is Aung San Suu Kyi Silent on the Rohingya Atrocities?

12 September, 2017, 00:50 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Little US pressure amid talk of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar

Let us pray for them.

Those of us who worked undercover in Myanmar remember a constant struggle to stay out of the way of the secret policemen and spies.

"I still think that she is the same Aung San Suu Kyi that won the Nobel Peace Prize she will wake up to that person", he said.

The world's media related how she had faced down soldiers with their rifles levelled in her direction. I will not go to the extent of supporting the petition for revoking her Nobel Prize, which she once undoubtedly deserved. However, as the undisputed NLD leader, she is Myanmar's de facto leader.

It was language which Western journalists (including myself), were eager to hear. In recent days, the anti-Rohingya violence has escalated, sparking much of the population to flee to Bangladesh. But what some have called "ethnic cleansing" and others "a slow genocide" has persisted - and recently accelerated.

Here was a peacemaker in a world made dark by the actions of Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia, Franjo Tudjman of Croatia, and the Hutu power extremists of Rwanda.

And they are facing it not only in Myanmar, where bigotry is at the root of their longtime effective quarantine, but also from the wider world, where prejudice has long manifested itself as indifference.

Meanwhile, fellow Nobel laureates have called on her to do something-anything-to avert the crisis.

"It is expected that the United Nations act swiftly and undertake all necessary measures towards addressing worldwide concerns about the deteriorating situation in Myanmar", Zarif said.

RAKHINE- The "disgraced" leader of violence-torn Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi thanked Indian premier Narendra Modi for his strong stance with regard to the crisis in Rohingya with hopes of a joint strategy to solve it. "I am angry with her - very angry".

The Iranian foreign minister pointed to his January letter to the United Nations chief about the violence against the Rohingya Muslims and once again drew attention to the "alarming situation" of the Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar.

"The worldwide community has no excuse to allow the genocide of Rohingya Muslims to continue in front of our eyes", Zarif tweeted.

Media captionWatch: Who are the Rohingya?

The memory of Nehru wading into Hindu mobs to prevent sectarian violence is one of the 20th Century's defining acts of personal courage. Also Suu Kyi couldn't become president because both her sons hold foreign passports, a violation of the constitutional norm that require the head of state, their spouse and children to be Myanmar citizens.

Seeing the recent precedence of liberal intervention by USA and West in countries like Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, should not there be an imposition of sanctions against Myanmar over the massive human rights violations or a demand for a separate state for the Rohingyas on the pattern of East Timor or South Sudan. The report also recommends steps toward fostering reconciliation between all in Rakhine state, to address the deep-seated, centuries-old mistrust that can not easily be waged away. Actions must be taken by Myanmar and its regional neighbors to help build a comprehensive and inclusive solution for the Rohingya.

It's ironic that Suu Kyi, for so long romancing the global media in her campaign against human rights abuses and suppression of the press under a pariah military regime, should now deny those very journalists the right to investigate and question her about her government's stance on the treatment of the Rohingya, the military crackdown on them, and denial of citizenship to them on grounds that the issue is exaggerated, fed by "an iceberg of disinformation", and that the army is merely responding to attacks on police and soldiers by "terrorists". But on arrival, it was withdrawn after word reached Suu Kyi's government in the capital Naypyidaw, and the order was given to stop the BBC team and return them to the capital.

Stubbornness in the face of what she feels is unfounded criticism is part of the equation.

Earlier, several thousand supporters of Bangladesh's main opposition political party formed a human chain to protest against the treatment of Myanmar's Rohingya minority.

She may yet answer that question by pressing the military to end its brutal crackdown.


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