New Delhi: Entire Rakhine state in Myanmar is burning and one person in question is Aung San Suu Kyi who is the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and the first and incumbent State Counsellor, a position akin to a Prime Minister.
The situation has reached such a level that even UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has to urge Suu Kyi to halt the offensive against Rohingyas.
On Saturday night, Guterres told the BBC that Suu Kyi had a last chance to stop the offensive and if she does not reverse the situation now, then he thinks the tragedy will be absolutely horrible and unfortunately then he doesn't see how this can be reversed in the future.
In New York, Aung San Suu Kyi was supposed to be addressing the UN (and the world) this week at the annual general assembly.
However, by contrast, she will give a televised speech in her own country Myanmar, breaking her near-silence on the humanitarian crisis as Rohingya refugees flee brutality in Myanmar and pour into Bangladesh.
Her speech, on Tuesday, will certainly be scrutinised intensely.
It will not be wrong to say that Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize awardee, seems to be failing in her own country in protecting minorities and hence bringing peace in the Rakhine state.
Definitely, if Aung San Suu Kyi fails to act, she will go down in history as an unworthy recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
What is shocking is that recently, Ms. Kyi claimed that there was an “iceberg of misinformation” reporting about the situation in Rakhine and her office has mocked supposed “fake news” about the misery of the Rohingya.
This brings down to a question that why somebody like her who accomplished so much good become complicit in so much hideousness?
A girl holds a sign calling for the removal of the honorary Canadian citizenship of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, during a rally calling on the Canadian government to prevent the genocide of the Rohingya in Myanmar, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)
Is her silence because of her disinterest and reflects Suu Kyi’s personal views...well it’s impossible to know for sure.
Or is it because of a significant share of the Buddhist majority, simply think that the Rohingya are outsiders who do not deserve to live in Myanmar. And this, in turn, means for Ms. Kyi and her party that there is no political benefit in challenging majority views toward the Rohingya. During the 2015 national elections, reportedly, the NLD did not put up any Muslim candidates. Honestly speaking, no politician likes to alienate himself or herself from majority.
There may be yet another reason and that is-Suu Kyi may believe that her ability to stop the brutal military campaign in Rakhine state is limited. No doubt, Suu Kyi is the de facto head of government, but the top general, Min Aung Hlaing, still maintains tremendous power.
Well…we do not know the exact reason for her silence till now but given Suu Kyi's moral stature, her history and her power in Burma, Nobel laureate's inaction has surely worsened affairs.
However, it is never too late and Suu Kyi can still make a difference by speaking out more about the plight of the Rohingya...and helping them.
Till now she has just watched the humanitarian crisis unfold anyway. What will be her next step? Well, hopefully, we will know about it after her televised speech on Tuesday.
About Rohingya refugee crisis:
Rakhine state, Myanmar (Burma): Screen grab courtesy/Google maps
The Rohingya refugee crisis (2015) refers to the mass migration of thousands of Rohingya people from Myanmar (Burma). Nearly all who fled traveled to Southeast Asian countries including-Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand by rickety boats via the waters of the Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea. In recent weeks alone, some 370,000 Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh, according to UN estimates.
The struggle is taking place in Rakhine State in Myanmar's northwestern region.
About the author: Author is an Associate Producer in ABP News Network Pvt Ltd and tweets at @AnuragSason
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