Aung San Suu Kyi has finally spoken, and left the world disappointed.The Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar’s Rakhine State have been subject to what the United Nations (UN) head of human rights called “a textbook example of genocide.” And many had, till now, exhorted Suu Kyi to speak up against the state-sanctioned horrors.Though the Nobel Laureate “broke her silence” on Sept. 19, her speech all but denied the gravity of the situation and the Myanmar government’s hand in it. So, for many now, Suu Kyi is no longer the humanitarian who relentlessly fought for democracy in her country and spent 15 years under house arrest.
Tag Archives: Burma
Aung San Suu Kyi’s long silence over the desperate plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar has been shameful. With tens of thousands now fleeing atrocities in Rakhine state, the Nobel peace prize winner’s aura of moral sanctity lies in tatters. The Muslim minority are denied citizenship by a government which claims, against the evidence, that they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. After decades of discrimination, matters got much worse. Since 2012 the Rohingya have endured not just immiseration and the denial of basic rights and services – many live in internment camps – but three major waves of violence by government forces and Buddhist Burman nationalists. Myanmar’s de facto leader has turned a blind eye.
Why the Rohingya? Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing is driven by an irrational fear of Muslims becoming the majority
During the past 65 years of military rule in Burma [Myanmar], the army has killed thousands of people from almost every one of the country’s numerous minorities: Shans, Karens, Kachins, Karennis, Mon, Chin and many smaller groups. But the only ones who have faced genocide are the Rohingya, and it is happening right now.
On Thursday September 7, I decided to go into Myanmar following the same routes the Rohingya were taking to escape to Bangladesh.My journey started from Lomba Beel, a remote village in Howaikong union in Teknaf. From here, it takes an hour to walk to the Naf, where the three hour-long boat journey begins, ending with another hour spent trudging through the boggy coast of Myanmar.
Few of us expect much from political leaders: to do otherwise is to invite despair. But to Aung San Suu Kyi we entrusted our hopes. To mention her name was to invoke patience and resilience in the face of suffering, courage and determination in the unyielding struggle for freedom. She was an inspiration to us all.
It was never meant to be this way.The script called for the lead actor, a Nobel prize winner, to seize control of a country, bring peace where there was conflict and prosperity where there was poverty. A nation emerging from years of military dictatorship was to become a beacon of hope not only for its cowed population but also for much of a fractured and turbulent south-east Asia.But like many political dramas – especially over the past 12 months – the script has not been followed by Myanmar and its de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.Now, a year since one of the world’s most famous prisoners of conscience came to power in the specially created position of state counsellor, the talk is not of progress.Instead, it is of drastically escalating ethnic conflicts that have simmered and sporadically exploded for decades; a new Rohingya Muslim insurgency that has prompted an army crackdown some say may amount to crimes against humanity; a rash of online defamation cases that have fostered a panic over freedom of speech; and a repressive legal framework that allowed the generals to jail so many still being in place. And all the while, Aung San Suu Kyi is accused of remaining mostly silent, doggedly avoiding the media.
It’s a U.N. report U.N. officials themselves call revolting and unbearable. Myanmar’s security forces killed, gang-raped, and tortured hundreds of Rohingya Muslims in a wave of unprecedented violence, according to a new U.N. report released Friday. Victims included children and babies as young as eight months.
In recent months, Myanmar security forces stepped up their efforts to clear the ethnic group from the country’s borders — in a campaign of “area clearance operations” — to historic levels in terms of both scale and brutality.
GUO, the driver, pulls his car to a merciful halt high above a crevasse: time for a cigarette, and after seven hours of shuddering along narrow, twisting roads, time for his passengers to check that their fillings remain in place. Lighting up, he steps out of the car and dons a cloth cap and jacket: sunny, early-summer days are still brisk 3,500 metres above sea level. Mr Guo is an impish little dumpling of a man, bald, brown-toothed and jolly. He is also an anomaly: a Shanghainese in northern Yunnan who opted to stay with his local bride rather than return to his booming hometown.
Yangon is suddenly a city of phablets. Nowhere in Asia, let alone Europe, have I seen so many supersized smartphones in public spaces, and with such egalitarian appeal: Pavement vendors selling early 20th century British guides to English grammar seem as transfixed by them as Yangon’s smart set playing Pokemon Go.
Source: Myanmar’s Experiment