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Myanmar’s unpeople

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13.09.2017

WHAT are the chances that the appalling humanitarian crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine state could readily have been resolved had Aung San Suu Kyi at least attempted to live up to the ideals she so eloquently articulated during her decades of victimisation at the behest of the nation’s military junta?

Given that she eventually entered into a power-sharing arrangement with the military, which continues to exercise considerable control, not least in matters related to ‘security’, speaking up for the human rights of the Rohingya would in all likelihood have made precious little difference on the ground.

That is, of course, an inadequate excuse for not speaking up. The fact that far too many people in Myanmar tend to regard the Rohingya as unworthy of any rights only serves to underline the imperative to provide moral leadership. Far more troubling, however, are persistent indications that Suu Kyi really does not give a damn. All her comments in recent months conform with the unsustainable official narrative of ‘fake news’, even ‘fake rape’, and the egregious lie — undermined by the BBC’s Jonathan Head — that the Rohingya are burning down their own villages before fleeing to Bangladesh.

Her attitude is not all that far removed from that of the army colonel who........

© Dawn