Suu Kyi deplores 'misinformation' on Rohingya issue

09 September, 2017, 15:51 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Danish Siddiqui  Reuters

Retired South African cleric and anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu urged Myanmar leader and fellow Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday to intervene to help Rohingya Muslims fleeing her country.

But is Myanmar's state counsellor, the de facto political ruler Aung San Suu Kyi, despite being barred from being president under the country's compromised constitution, becoming a victim of her own mythology?

Tutu's September 7 letter came as the United Nations migration agency, the IOM and the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR both said that 270,000 people have fled violence in Myanmar to seek safety in Bangladesh in two weeks.

It adds to the increasing worldwide criticism the de facto leader of Myanmar - also known as Burma - has faced over her handling of the situation facing Rohingya Muslims in the country's Rakhine state.

Khan said the Rohingya's wait on the Myanmar border to take fishing boats to Teknaf in Bangladesh.

The Trump administration has reluctantly expressed concerns about the state-sponsored violence against the Rohingya but refused to address calls for worldwide sanctions against Suu Kyi's government. The Myanmar government said that the Rohingya villagers burned their homes down themselves.

He noted the government's commitment to implementing the recommendations submitted by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

"The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority in Myanmar who have faced discrimination and extreme poverty for decades", said Khan.

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Hopes that Ms Suu Kyi would bring an end to the repression of the Rohingya when she was elected in 2015 have come to nothing.

The pictures of several sword-wielding women wearing headscarves and men in Islamic prayer caps setting a house on fire, which were published in one of the country's leading newspapers, were also shared widely by the military.

Khin calls it ethnic cleansing, a slow genocide.

And yet Aung San Suu Kyi is in an unenviable position: the attacks launched on security force posts by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, formerly Al Yaqeen, are perceived as a threat to national sovereignty, and the Rohingya are viewed domestically as interlopers from Bangladesh.

Congressional leaders from both parties are adding their voices to the worldwide condemnation of the violence in western Myanmar that has sent an estimated 164,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh and led to growing doubts over Ms Suu Kyi's leadership. Let us pray for them.

Tutu implored Suu Kyi to "speak out for justice, human rights and unity", saying a country that "fails to protect the dignity and worth of all its people is not a free country".

"When she asked people around the world to use their freedom to support freedom for her and many Burma democrats in prison, she entered into an unwritten compact", said Phil Robertson, the deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division. The military has started its brutal operation, which has led to more than 2,50,000 people fleeing to the neighbouring country of Bangladesh.

Tutu's letter joins a growing criticism of Suu Kyi's silence on the matter. This has precipitated an unprecedented online petition to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to strip Suu Kyi's laureate.

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