United States stops short of admonishing Myanmar for attacks on Rohingya

Wednesday was such a day, when Aung San Suu Kyi broke her silence on the disaster unfolding in Myanmar, the country of which the Nobel laureate is the de facto leader.

More than 165,000 people have arrived in Bangladesh, and the United Nations estimates this could hit 300,000 before too long.

She has said, through releases in state media, that the Government is protecting civilians on all sides. “But as always, Canadians stand ready to help”.

Many like me had Che Guevara-inspired Suu Kyi T-shirts with “Free Burma” slogans.

I recognise that the armed forces retain great power in Myanmar, and that Aung San Suu Kyi does not exercise effective control over them.

The United Nations says more than 250,000 refugees, a lot of them Rohingya, have fled Myanmar into Bangladesh since the violence began last October. Additionally, over 120 000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh.

But leaders in the human rights community have been more pointed in their criticism of Suu Kyi, who was initially silent on the issue, then defended the counterattacks by security forces as an effort to combat terrorism.

The 20-year-old, who is about to begin studying at Oxford University, said: ‘Every time I see the news, my heart breaks.

With so much riding on this political, commercial, and military engagement with Myanmar, there was never any way the USA or its allies were ever going to “embrace the Rohingya cause” and the real power has been very busy using a “policy” to advance business and security interests, unencumbered by “quaint considerations like worldwide law and human rights”, political commentator and global lawyer Barry Grossman says.

Despite the pressure Aung San Suu Kyi defended her military’s action in a phone call with Turkish president Recep Tayip Erdogan.

Yesterday, former South African archbishop Desmond Tutu urged her to intervene to stop the persecution of the Rohingya.

Gatineau-based government relations and communications consultant Fareed Khan launched the petition on Monday. Suu Kyi, who is a part of the regime is also responsible.

“We have to take care of our citizens“.

“There are also those among us who have been saying this is an ethnic rather than a religious conflict and therefore that we do not, as Muslims, need to be concerned”.

AFP/Getty Images A decapitated Buddhist statue, allegedly committed by a militant group as communal violence between Buddhists and Muslims spike in the region, is seen in the southern Maungdaw area of Myanmar’s Rakhine state on September 4, 2017.

Suu Kyi’s government is arguing that ARSA wants to establish an Islamic state in the country’s north Rakhine province, where most Rohingyas call home.

“The violence must end now”. He raised concerns about the treatment of the Rohingya during the meeting, the Prime Minister’s Office said at the time.

On Friday, Williams, Ebadi and Gbowee and four other female Nobel laureates sent Suu Kyi a letter telling her she had betrayed the values of the Nobel Peace Prize with her silence. Aung San Suu Kyi’s denialism and lack of leadership and courage to try to reign in the Myanmar military from committing human rights abuses against the Rohingya is a disgrace to humanity and conduct unbecoming of a Canadian.

Speaking to Fairfax Media from Dhaka, Professor Yunus urged his fellow laureate to start responding like the bold leader the world had once applauded, as opposed to the politician surrounded by advisors that she had become.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *