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A NOBEL LAUREATE DANCES WITH GENOCIDERS

A nobel laureate dances with genociders
World leaders had expected Aung San Suu Kyi to speak for humanity as a Nobel Peace Laureate and to stop violence against Rohingyas. But in her much-anticipated speech on Tuesday, she spoke as a politician as she likes to be seen herself to retain the power without annoying the military. 
Those who were frustrated by her words she used to defend the indefensible atrocities by the military might have forgotten what she had announced seven years ago. 
Suu Kyi was showered with praises and awards by the world and portrayed as a human rights icon for her nonviolent struggle for people's rights during the decades of her house arrest by Myanmar military junta. 
But shortly after her release in 2010, in an interview with media, Suu Kyi made a shocking statement. She announced that "let me be clear that I would like to be seen as a politician, not some human rights icons." 
In face of growing condemnation by world leaders for a "textbook case of ethnic cleansing" by the military in her country, she broke her silence on Tuesday. But what the Nobel Laureate said left the world dumbfounded.  
She sidestepped the brutality against Rohingya by the military. This pleased the military that has been accused of a vast campaign of killing, raping and village burning. In so doing, she has blown her chance to condemn the worst episode of ethnic cleansing the world has seen in decades.
What Suu Kyi has been doing for last seven years since her release may be considered as a manifestation of her 2010's statement that she would like to be seen as a politician, not some human rights icons. 
This time through her Tuesday's speech, she also proved that nothing can budge an inch from her stance on Rohingya issue. 
A year ago, Suu Kyi has been criticized for doing too little to address the plight of the Rohingya.
More than 100 people were killed and some neighborhoods were razed to the ground in 2012 when ethnic Rakhine Buddhists clashed with Rohingya Muslims. Some 125,000 people are still displaced, the vast majority of them Rohingya, who are prevented from moving freely.
In face of criticism, in her first address to the U.N. General Assembly as the national leader on September 21 last year, she defended her government’s efforts to resolve a crisis over treatment of the country’s Muslim minority.
She had said her government did not fear international scrutiny and "her government is committed to a sustainable solution that will lead to peace, stability and development for all communities within the State." She spoke the same language on Tuesday.
But a month after her commitment made in the UN address, the military launched a brutal crackdown on the Rohingya.
The UN human rights commission's report released in February this year said the military crackdown on the Rohingya in October last year had led to gang rape, the killing of hundreds of civilians and the forced displacement of as many as 90,000 people.
The UN formed a fact-finding commission in May this year to investigate the rights abuses. But Suu Kyi's forgot what she said in her address to the UN General Assembly and her government refused entry of the UN mission. 
A year after, she skipped UN General Assembly in face of growing criticism following the military's brutal crackdown on Rohingya since August 25. 
To counter the global condemnation she spoke on Wednesday. This time too, she reiterated that her government does not fear international scrutiny and invited international observers to visit the Rakhine state. 
This claim does not match with her government's current strategy. A tightly government-controlled media trip to Rakhine state was organized earlier this month, but permits for journalists to visit the area independently and interview people without official interference have been next to impossible to come by, according to a CNN report. 
In her speech, she denied atrocities and mass exodus as she claimed the majority of Rohingya Muslim stay in Rakhine state, claim does not have substance as more than four lakh Rohingya took shelter in Bangladesh in last four weeks. 
Making such a false claim may suit her as denial of atrocities against Rohingya becomes a staunch policy of her government since last year's large-scale violence. 
Suu Kyi's government that assumed office in 2016 ending a half-century-long military rule has repeatedly denied allegations. It brushed away evidence of human rights violations as "fake news" and "propaganda".
In face of growing criticism worldwide, Suu Kyi's government formed a commission to investigate the 2016 violence, claiming that a domestic investigation was sufficient to look into the allegation.  
The commission led by Myanmar vice president U Myint Swe in a press statement in July this year claimed it found the allegations of killing, raping and human rights violations against the Rohingya groundless.
After an eruption of violence on August 25, Suu Kyi, sticking to her government line, claimed the Rohingya militant ARSA is responsible for the burning of homes, civilian deaths as well as a "huge iceberg of misinformation" on the strife in Rakhine. 
Her government also launched a media campaign to drum up public support for the ongoing "Operation Clearance." 
On Facebook and Twitter posts, it has blamed the international community for distributing "fake news" about alleged rights abuses. 
In her address, Suu Kyi expressed her ignorance about the reasons why Rohingya are fleeing their homes and sidestepped evidence of widespread violence against them by the military. According to New York Times, it was a remarkable parroting of the language of the generals. 
Win Htein, a former military officer of Myanmar, talking to New York Times, properly described Suu Kyi's strategy. "It's always a dance with the generals… The army, they are watching her every word. One misstep on the Muslim issue, and they can make their move." 
Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus is even more pointed. In a telephone interview with New York Times, he said: "She should not have received a Nobel Peace Prize if she says, sorry, I'm a politician, and the norms of democracy don't suit me."
"The whole world stood by her for decades, but today she has become a mirror image of Aung San Suu Kyi by destroying human rights and denying citizenship to the Rohingya," denounced Prof Yunus.
Suu Kyi's words and campaign carrying by her government clearly testify the policy of denial of atrocities against Rohingya and compromising with human rights violators for power.
This may suit a politician, but not a human rights icon. Her policy also says she does not hesitate to become a partner in genocide for the powers.
Shakhawat Liton - Bangladeshi Journalist
25.09.2017 - Hit : 272


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