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Suu Kyi has to do more for Rohingya

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A beloved Nobel Peace Prize winner is presiding over an ethnic cleansing in which villages are burned, women raped and children butchered.

For the last three weeks, Buddhist-majority Myanmar has systematically slaughtered civilians belonging to the Rohingya Muslim minority, forcing 270,000 to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh - with Myanmar soldiers shooting at them even as they cross the border.

"The Buddhists are killing us with bullets," Ms Noor Symon, a woman carrying her son, told a New York Times reporter. "They burned houses and tried to shoot us."

Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, the widow who defied Myanmar's dictators, endured a total of 15 years of house arrest and led a campaign for democracy, was a hero of modern times. Yet today, Ms Suu Kyi, as the effective leader of Myanmar, is chief apologist for this ethnic cleansing as the country oppresses the darker-skinned Rohingya, and denounces them as terrorists and illegal immigrants.

And "ethnic cleansing" may be an understatement. Even before the latest wave of terror, a Yale study had suggested that the brutality towards the Rohingya might qualify as genocide. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has also warned that a genocide against the Rohingya may be looming.

For shame, Ms Suu Kyi. We honoured you and fought for your freedom - and now you use that freedom........

© The Straits Times