Aung San Suu Kyi.. The Fall of a Human Rights Icon..

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Bells, Sep 15, 2017.

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  1. Bells Staff Member

    Imprisoned for a period of 15 years over a 21 year period, the world fought for her cause against what was then known as the Burmese military junta. She submitted herself to house arrest instead of voluntarily leaving Burma under the condition that she never returned.

    She argued that she stayed for her people and she continued to fight for her people..

    These last few months have seen her fall from grace.

    The horrific plight of the Rohingya has been an ongoing horror for generations. However, over the last year or so, Myanmar's government have launched a series of attacks on the Rohingya (in response to Rohingya militants attacking police outposts), razing their villages and murdering countless of innocent civilians, many of them children. The UN released a statement, describing it as ethnic cleansing. This is a purge and frankly, it is not far from being a full blown genocide.

    Over 200,000 fled to Bangladesh. They continue to flee, with many never reaching their destination, with reports now detailing the Myanmar's military laying landmines at the border, to murder even more as they try to flee.

    Instead of speaking for the plight of "her people", Aung San Suu Kyi remained resolutely silent. After silence in the face of absolute condemnation from the world community, she then spoke and described the victims of ethnic cleansing as terrorist and advised that the reports coming out of the Rakhine State as being "fake news" and denied the obvious.

    Calls have been made to strip her of her Nobel Peace Prize. It is hard to comprehend her response.

    What strikes you about the torrents of criticism of Aung San Suu Kyi now engulfing Western media is the sense of betrayal. "We honoured you and fought for your freedom — and now you use that freedom to condone the butchery of your own people?" thundered Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times. "I am now elderly, decrepit and formally retired, but breaking my vow to remain silent on public affairs out of profound sadness," explained Desmond Tutu in an open letter to his fellow Nobel laureate condemning her silence as "what some have called 'ethnic cleansing' and others 'a slow genocide'" of Myanmar's Rohingya people is occurring on her watch. "Friends of mine devoted their working lives to the campaign for her release", wrote George Monbiot in The Guardian. "But it is hard to think of any recent political leader by whom such high hopes have been so cruelly betrayed."

    That feeling is in some sense inevitable. We're perhaps not used to seeing such a fallen angel; a face going from being stamped on wearable face masks given to entire crowds at U2 concerts, to being stamped on protesters' placards with blood-stained fangs drawn over her mouth. But I suspect there's a mythology that has led us here. One that demands a hero, then requires her to be created in our own image. And one that is therefore destined to render Aung San Suu Kyi a villain just as passionately, when that image proves to be a mirage.

    Is she, as Australian journalist Waleed Aly notes, simply being "true to form"? Was she always simply just a politician and did we label her as a human rights warrior because that was how we wanted to see her?

    What if she was that politician all along? "Please don't forget that I started out as the leader of a political party," she said in 2013 after a similar bout of criticism. "I cannot think of anything more political than that." It's true that during her heroic resistance she spoke a language of democracy and human rights. But it's also true that language was almost always general, platitudinal. Things like: "fundamental violations of human rights always lead to people feeling less and less human". Or, "the best way to help Burma is to empower the people of Burma". Or, "by helping others, you will learn to help yourselves".

    It is from such generalities that we sketched out an icon, then coloured it in liberal, cosmopolitan tones. It's like we assumed that because she was persecuted by a brutal regime, that because she was a worldly, attractive, Western-educated, English-speaking political prisoner, she was really just an exotic version of our idealised selves. That in our admiration and concern for her we were really constructing ourselves, assuming that the world's heroes were of a piece with us, then falling in love with this image.

    But you don't govern in the generalities that make image possible. The grist of politics is in the specificities. And what you're unlikely to find in Suu Kyi's history is any specific statement on the Rohingya, affirming their place as fully human or as part of Myanmar. Turns out that on the Rohingya, she has always been silent. Why should we be suddenly shocked if it turns out she acquiesces to – or even shares – the views of the people who voted for her? She never really promised us otherwise. Perhaps she was most instructive when she said "I do not hold to non-violence for moral reasons, but for political and practical reasons". If you're expecting otherwise, I suppose you're bound to feel betrayed.

    It is hard to argue against it. She has never spoken out for the Rohingya. So why the sense of betrayal?

    The answer is probably multi faceted. On the one hand, they do not consider the Rohingya as being citizens of Myanmar. They are denied citizenship and have no rights. When this horror show first started, the Myanmar government released a series of statements, describing the Rohingya as being "Bengali", denying them statehood once again, and alluding to their being illegal immigrants in a country they have inhabited for centuries. Her party spokeswoman and her personal lawyer said this about the Rohingya:

    And domestically the issue is clear-cut. Hatred of the Rohingya is the one thing that unites almost everyone in Myanmar, said another diplomat: “The extremist Buddhists, the masses, the army, and even the NLD.”

    Nyan Win, a party spokesman and Aung San Suu Kyi’s personal lawyer, voiced the views of many in Myanmar when he told Radio Free Asia: “I think everyone knows the Bengali. There are no facial features like Bengalis’ in our Myanmar, nowhere in the country.”

    One could easily argue that what we are seeing is the extermination phase of a genocide in Myanmar. The signs are there and have been there for a while now:

    Myanmar’s government now plans to arm and train an all-Buddhist militia in the same state the Rohingya inhabit. This new armed wing would be composed of ethnic Arakanese, Buddhists who are also native to the area.

    One international monitoring group, the International Commission of Jurists, has called this a “recipe for disaster.” But the plan is favored by one of the loudest anti-Rohingya organizations, the Arakan National Party, which favors “inhuman acts” to rid their homeland of Muslims.

    There is a reason why they have denied the UN and other observers access to the Rakhine State. No one expects her to be in a position to do something about it, seeing her role in the Government, but her silence and then condoning what has been happening is a bitter pill to try to swallow.

    So should she be stripped of her Nobel Peace Prize? Should she at least speak out for the Rohingya? Or is her silence merely to protect her political standing in a country that barely recognises them as being human beings? Is it possible that she is marching with popular opinion about the Rohingya and perhaps even holds similar views? Are we seeing the fall of a once human rights icon? Or was she always like this and we were just blind to see it before or did not really care until the situation became too horrific to ignore any longer? And what does that say about the rest of the world community?

    She has recently advised she would not be coming to the UN to speak to the General Assembly.. My guess is that the "Lady" does not want to face the condemnation.
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  3. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Indeed. Just part of that percentage of delusion-shattering resulting from reflexively equating either victimhood or martyrdom to sainthood. "OMG, you've got to be more noble slash trustworthy than ___ or even *us* because of all that suffering, injustice, and exploitation you / your group identity endured!"

    Perhaps difficult for either the secular thought orientation of the West as a whole or at least the figurative Ministry of Social Utopian Micro-Management to get that historical "Jesus template" completely evacuated from its subconscious bowel region. "There's a sucker born every minute for afflicted crusaders." --"Paper Dollar" Hosea Bessimer

    - - -
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  5. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    I blame religion more than Aung San Suu Kyi.
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  7. Bells Staff Member

    What does religion have to do with her not speaking out against this atrocity?

    What does religion have to do with her condoning the violence against the Rohingya? Do you think her religion is the cause of her silence?
  8. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member



    One scenario
    Aung is playing a deadly political game with her masters ( the military and machete wielding militants) to avoid the massacre of millions. She is giving the Rohingya, by her silence, an opportunity to escape if they can.

    Time may be running out...for any Rohingya remaining in Burma.

    This is how it "seems" to me...
    The situation could become considerably worse. Depending on how Aung pleads her case with the military and acts in the world eye...
  9. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    It is up to the world to assist the asylum seekers flooding into Bangladesh ( or wishing to). What of the worlds lack of action beyond rhetoric?
    I see parallels to the Yazidi crisis in Iraq ( re: ISIL - Yazidi genocide )
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Not Dealing With This Very Well ....

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    A Rohingya Muslim woman Hanida Begum, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, kisses her infant son Abdul Masood who died when the boat they were traveling in capsized just before reaching the shore of the Bay of Bengal, in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Nearly three weeks into a mass exodus of Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar, thousands were still flooding across the border Thursday in search of help and safety in teeming refugee settlements in Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

    See also:

    Associated Press. "AP PHOTOS: A young Rohingya mother’s horrified discovery". 14 September 2017. 15 September 2017.

    (¡Achtung! Content warning.)

    (1) All revolutionary movements, upon winning power, roll rightward in order to consolidate power, and easy populism is easy populism.

    (2) Matters of priorities are matters of priorities; it is easy enough to say, "This before that", while we can, and in my own society, which, you know, happens to be rather quite influential in such attitudes, it seems we still have not accustomed ourselves to what happens when "this" is settled and we must admit to ourselves that we never really gave a goddamn about "that". I don't know how it plays in the rest of the world, but the fact of a military junta made "this" a priority before anything else in Myanmar. If the Rohingya are "that" ... um ... er ... ah ... right, I'm an American, we elected Donald Trump, and we're going to fail this one miserably. Good luck.

    (3) I would assert that an icon, in accepting that status, also accepts certain burdens that go with it. This seems worth mentioning insofar as, well, many people think I'm some manner of radical for refusing the prospect of revolutionary-celebrity free lunch. If the world learns the lesson of justice for you, then, yes, you are obliged, as the icon, to learn the lesson of justice for everybody else, too. And, yes, when put that way, I find many people do object: How dare I judge. Nor can I tell anyone what that moralistic projection is worth. But apparently this is the hard part of the bargain, because—

    (4) —in truth, I can't recall a pure hero outside myth. You know: Jesus, Easter Bunny, Superman.

    (5) #nevermind, I'm just on a roll is all.

    (6) There is no point six.

    (7) Oh, right: I think the answer is somewhere wrapped up in #2-4. It wasn't that people were too blind to see; it just didn't come up because priorities are as priorities will, and people are human, and, you know, fuck-all, they ... uh ... they're ... they're only—oh, alright, I'm not saying it, today. But, damn it, we know that's how it goes in certain very influential corners of the world.
  11. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Historical Persecution:
    • Jews,
    • Gypsies,
    • Yazidi,
    • Rohingya,

    All had one thing in common.... All were/are "aloof"** ethnic groups lacking statehood.

    **non - assimilated
  12. Bells Staff Member

    A few years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi gave a speech in Sydney, to a packed audience. Some of the text of her speech:

    Now, the subject I had chosen to speak on formally for the next ten minutes, is Burma’s future. Not Burma’s future as predictions or even Burma’s future as hopes but for Burma’s future as choices - the choices that we have to make for the future of our country.

    Now, as I said earlier, I’m a politician. I am practical, I hope, and pragmatic and I try to be honest so I want to talk about the choices that we have made - we the National League for Democracy and our supporters with regard to the future of our country and to ask for your support to help us make sure that these choices can be made as soon as possible.

    The very first choice that we made with regard to our future was more than 20 years ago when we opted for democracy. Even when there was a very, very brutal – one has to be honest – military regime in power, we never let go of that choice. We were going to opt for democracy, the kind of democracy that was rooted in strong institutions and in respect for human rights but along with our dedication to democracy and human rights we never forgot the need for national reconciliation.

    So these were the three pillars of the National League for Democracy – democracy, human rights and national reconciliation – because we did not want either of those three pillars to be built up at the expense of any of the other two. These three we need that our country might be the kind of union of which we had dreamed for very many decades.

    Those of our leaders who fought for independence, including my father, dreamt of such a union. They wanted to see Burma as a union of many peoples who were strong in their dedication to the idea of a nation that worked together for its people, that was bound together by dedication to the best principles of nationhood.

    We decided to follow that path. This was a choice we made.

    I have often said that I find it embarrassing when people talk about the sacrifices that I have made and I always try to point out that those were not sacrifices but choices. Throughout my life I feel I have made the choices that I thought were best and we have been wrong and we have been right. But those choices were mine and I would bear responsibility for them and accept whatever consequences came thereby. So those are the choices we made back in 1988.


    So this is our choice for Burma’s future. A genuine democratic constitution that will help us to uphold democracy, human rights, and we want to achieve these amendments through national reconciliation. Never forgetting that all our citizens belong to our country and the whole country belongs to all our citizens.

    It is interesting because her party's platform does not recognise the Rohingya as being citizens of Myanmar. At all.

    In 2016, she "advised" the US Government to not refer to the Rohingya as being an ethnic group of Myanmar/Burma.

    Myanmar recognizes 135 ethnic groups within its borders. But the people who constitute No. 136? They are the people-who-must-not-be-named.

    Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar’s first democratically elected government since 1962, embraced that view last week when she advised the United States ambassador against using the term “Rohingya” to describe the persecuted Muslim population that has lived in Myanmar for generations.

    Her government, like the previous military-led one, will not call the Rohingya people by that name because it does not recognize them as citizens, said her spokesman, U Kyaw Zay Ya, a Foreign Ministry official.

    “We won’t use the term Rohingya because Rohingya are not recognized as among the 135 official ethnic groups,” said Mr. Kyaw Zay Ya, who was at the meeting. “Our position is that using the controversial term does not support the national reconciliation process and solving problems.”

    So when she spoke of the human rights of the Burmese, she did not include the Rohingya. Because she does not recognise them as being Burmese. Her request to the US Government came on the heel of protests in Myanmar over the US expressing sympathy for Rohingya who died at sea, attempting to flee the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar [from the same link as directly above]:

    The United States Embassy recently drew criticism for using the word Rohingya in a statement expressing condolences for the deaths of at least 20 people whose boat capsized on April 19 off the coast of Rakhine.

    Nationalist Buddhists challenged the new Myanmar government to protest the Americans’ use of the word and staged a demonstration outside the United States Embassy in Yangon.

    At an April 28 news conference, Mr. Marciel responded by saying that it was standard practice around the world to let communities decide for themselves what to be called. “And normally, when that happens, we would call them what they want to be called,” he said. “It’s not a political decision; it’s just a normal practice.”

    Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s decision to raise the issue with Mr. Marciel the next day was an apparent concession to the extremists and was welcomed by the nationalist Association for the Protection of Race and Religion, also known as Ma Ba Tha.

    “We don’t want that word because they are not our nationality,” said U Thaw Bar Ka, a leader of the group. “And now I read the news that the Foreign Ministry agrees with us. It’s really good. At first, I thought the new government would be useless on this issue.”
  13. Bells Staff Member

    I don't buy that anymore. People have been saying that for years, since her imprisonment.. That if she speaks out for them, the military would crack down on them even more and they would never have rights.. That if she spoke out for them, she would be punished further.. That if she spoke out about them upon release, they would imprison her again.. That if she spoke out for them when she and her party won the election in 2015, that the military could just take it all away from her again. Those are the excuses we made for her, without actually looking at what she has said and done. The writing was on the wall the whole time. We just chose to ignore it and not see it for what it was. Her current silence and condoning and denial of ethnic cleansing simply follows with what came before when it comes to the Rohingya and Aung San Suu Kyi. It is simply a part of a pattern that was always there.. And I include myself in that "we". Aung San Suu Kyi has been a hero of mine for a large portion of my adult life. But over the last few years, this has been a disturbing pattern. It just follows what came before from her in regards to this subject.

    When she has said anything about the Rohingya, it has always been in a manner that either denies their citizenship (despite their having been in Burma for centuries), or condones the violence against them by referring to them as terrorists.

    She has also been using her official Facebook page to incite violence and hatred against the Muslim minorities and aid groups who have been trying to get food and aid to the region.

    Myanmar Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been accused of inciting “anti-Rohingya and anti-aid worker sentiment” on Facebook, including a post accusing the World Food Program of feeding Muslim militants.

    Another post from the State Counsellor at the weekend displayed images of dead “Hindi” civilians, including three children with horrific wounds, it said were killed by Muslim militants after being caught in fresh clashes in northern Rakhine State.

    Both were uploaded on Sunday to the State Counsellor Office Information Committee page, one of several official sites for Ms Suu Kyi, who heads the government.


    Fortify Rights spokesman Matthew Smith said the posts suggested the State Counsellor’s office was attempting to manufacture broadbased anti-Rohingya sentiment by painting the entire Rohingya population as militant.

    “She is actively shaping anti-Rohingya and anti-aid worker sentiment in a situation that is already deadly and severe … at a time when she should be doing everything in her power to instill calm and promote human rights,” he said.

    Were you aware that she had barred any Muslims from standing in the 2015 election for her party? Was that caused by fear of the military?

    If fear is making Suu Kyi reluctant to speak out, it may speak to darker things than mere loss of personal power.

    Last month’s brutal and public assassination of NLD lawyer U Ko Ni, the constitutional expert whose efforts enabled Suu Kyi to assume the state counsellor position even when she was barred from the presidency, sent shock waves throughout the country and raised concerns for others pushing for reform.

    Again Suu Kyi remained silent; there was no public message of condolence for his family. Her silence at a time when the country so desperately needed the voice of a leader stunned Myanmar and foreigner commentators alike.

    Ko Ni, one of the few prominent Muslims in the NLD, was denied the opportunity to stand in the 2015 election for the party he had served for years, when Suu Kyi oversaw the rejection of all Muslim candidates from her party’s list. Yet he remained loyal and continued his work to promote interfaith harmony despite the many threats his family said he received.

    But if it is fear of losing her position that has directed her silence over rights abuses, Suu Kyi has betrayed her most famous principle:

    “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it, and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”

    I think it's time we stop making excuses for her.

    If she is so deathly afraid of losing political power that she chooses to remain silent and condones the violence and denies it is ethnic cleansing despite all overwhelming evidence, to the point that she has been caught actively stoking hatred and violence against them and any aid group attempting to provide aid to them, and if that is the case, what does that make her?

    The alternative is that she views them as non-citizens not worthy of any protection and does not recognise their human rights. If that is the case, what does that make her?
    Quantum Quack likes this.
  14. Bells Staff Member

    Indeed. We should also remember that the Rohingya have been persecuted in Myanmar for generations. The revolutionary movement is simply following the same path when it comes to the Rohingya in Myanmar.

    Speaking out against ethnic cleansing should never fall down the list of priorities. And that is the issue here. She has often spoken out against human rights abuses in her country. She has never spoken out against human rights abuses against the Rohingya. And I say this because she has been very clear of speaking out against the human rights abuses of the Burmese. Her party's platform has never recognised the Rohingya as being Burmese and she has never, not once, recognised them as being Burmese, nor has her father or any of the so called democratic groups in Myanmar.

    And that is a lesson we are learning the hard way. Sadly, it comes with the cost of ethnic cleansing bordering on outright genocide.

    On August 27, it is alleged Myanmar state security forces and local armed-residents committed mass killings of Rohingya Muslim men, women and children. The military unleashed what it called “clearance operations”. Myanmar’s army chief justified the slaughter as “unfinished business".

    “The killing spree lasted for approximately five hours — from 2pm to 7pm” reported Fortify Rights.

    I think it stems more from the fact that people knew it was happening and everyone just assumed that her political status during her imprisonment, etc, prevented her from speaking out. I think people just assumed she was actually concerned for their plight but was prevented from speaking out about it. We made excuses for her. Repeatedly. But now she is in a position of power, she has support. She has an active voice that she can lend to their plight. She is in a position to actually speak out about it. And instead we get deafening silence and then she condones it and stokes even more violent rhetoric towards them and any trying to help them.

    There is a video on youtube, compiled from various forums where she has been questioned about the Rohingya, where she is directly asked about the Rohingya. The video starts off with the premise which she says with a big grin, that she is "not taking sides".. She starts off speaking about the rule of law to the security of "all people in our country". And then in the next breath, she firmly asserts that when she is speaking about the rule of law, she means the rule of law for Burmese citizens. She then speaks about whether people who are not citizens can be allowed to become citizens under the law. Do they qualify for citizenship and if they do not, should the law itself be looked at under international norms. The video itself shows her addressing this multiple times. In the second clip in the video, she is questioned about the Rohingya directly by a young woman in the audience. Her response is appalling. By the end of her answer, she basically denoted the Rohingya as being illegal immigrants and alluded to having to determine if they are there legally and commented on how many cross from Bangladesh illegally. She also rebukes the woman for asking why they are being persecuted, because such words are "emotive" and described it as communal violence. That segment of the video starts from around 2:35 of the video.

    In light of her requests that they not be identified as the Rohingya and her party platform of denying their citizenship and identification as Rohingya, because that would somehow denote they are Burmese and her and her party's platform that the are "Bengali" (despite their having been there for centuries), I think it is safe to say where she and her party stand on whether the law could be changed to ensure their inclusion as citizens of Myanmar. The hypocrisy is staggering.

    I do agree with Mr Aly (quoted in the OP). Her failure to speak out for them and other persecuted minority groups in Myanmar should not be a surprise. We were just too blind to see her for who she really was this whole time.
  15. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Refusal to assimilate leads to all sorts of problems yes?
    re: comparison with North Korean isolationism...and Rohingya Muslims
  16. Bells Staff Member

    The issue is that they are not allowed to assimilate.

    The laws in Myanmar literally prevent inter-racial marriages. There has always been a pervasive push in Myanmar to promote racial purity of ethnic Burmese and the laws of the country promote that. This is despite the Rohingya being in Burma since the 11th century.. The laws in Burma dictate that unless a Rohingya can prove their ancestry in the country back to 1823, they cannot become citizens. Which effectively means that none of them can become citizens, since the persecution of Muslims in Burma started hundreds of years ago and became even worse in the last 100 years and even worse still in the 70's. They were stripped of their citizenship in 1982 when the Government introduced the new Citizenship laws, which is why Aung San Suu Kyi keeps bringing up that law each time she has been questioned about the Rohingya in the past. That is the law that dictates that the Rohingya have to be able to prove their ancestry in Burma from prior to 1823.

    It's not a matter of refusal to assimilate. They simply are not allowed to assimilate. The refusal to assimilate would come from the Burmese Buddhist.

    I don't even know if we can compare it to the isolation one could point the finger to in regards to North Korea. To the one, North Korea isolated itself through its own leaders. The Rohingya are isolated by the Burmese Government and it is not just isolation, but the restrictions placed upon them.. From requiring permission from the Government to marry, to a 2 child policy only reserved for married couples, there are even reports of women being required to only breastfeed in the presence of Government officials so that they do not try to have extra children and have other women pass them off as their own. They are denied secondary education as that is only reserved for citizens. They are denied the freedom of movement, where even visiting another village is strictly regulated and controlled. The list just goes on and on. They have been made stateless by the Government and every single human right stripped from them. They are even forced into forced labour camps and internment camps, where they are not allowed to leave and even their food is scarce. In short, they are being locked in and systematically eradicated and "cleansed" from the region.

    I guess in a way it can be compared... But it is sad to say that the people of North Korea probably have more freedom than the Rohingya do. In short, The Burmese Government is literally trying to eradicate them from Myanmar by any means necessary. If it means mass murder, driving them from their villages to Bangladesh (and placing landmines along the way for good measure) with threats of death, violence and destroying their villages, to bringing in an armed Buddhist militia to attack them constantly and to replace them when they are driven from their homes, to internment camps that is literally starving them and where they are systematically murdered by the Government, denying them any form of healthcare...

    And this is sanctioned by the Government.

    There is no excuse for her silence and then denial of what is happening and her condoning it (not to mention her hateful messages on Facebook and inciting hate and violence towards not just the Rohingya, but aid groups who are attempting to feed them and provide aid) just makes her complicit. The irony is that she was a person who once advocated for free and open elections, transparency.. Now?

    Facing claims of crimes against humanity for army attacks on the minority Muslim Rohingya population, Suu Kyi’s administration has sought to severely restrict access to Rakhine for aid groups and the media while publicly discrediting them.


    The administration of Suu Kyi, who came to power in 2015 elections under the promise of reform, has refused to grant visas to UN investigators tasked with probing claims of abuses by the military on Rohingya civilians.

    A Myanmar government commission accused the UN of a smear campaign after the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said in February that security forces had committed mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya in actions that “very likely” amounted to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing

    The fact that she has not been stripped of her Nobel Peace prize is galling to say the least.
  17. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Please do not think I am attempting to support what is obviously an incredibly horrific situation. To me there is absolutely no excuse regardless of ethnicity, religion etc.
    From what little I know of it I have had to conclude that the "truth" is far from evident in anything I have read. That is to say that all info available is in some way distorted or corrupted by what appears to be agenda and motive.
    There are a few things though that appear to be the basis of reasonable premise. I am wishing to discover the "root" to this insanity If I can.

    Would you agree that what the world has witnessed and is currently witnessing is extreme xenophobia, with a focus on Islamophobia?
    Is this discussion thread the place to explore what historically drives this insidious form of "racism"?
  18. Bells Staff Member

    What motive and agenda do you think is in play here?

    How do you question if this could be xenophobia?

    Xenophobia is a hatred of people from other countries. The Rohingya are Burmese Muslims. They have been there since the 11th century. To declare this xenophobia would be to buy into the Burmese government's argument that they are foreigners or "Bengali", when they are not. So it is not xenophobia. Frankly, what it is is a push for and their belief in racial purity in Burma with an extreme focus of Islamophobia.

    And this thread is really about her silence and inaction in the face of ethnic cleansing.

    Aid agencies, human rights agencies, the UN all agree that at the very least, this is ethnic cleansing. The Burmese military have even described it as a "cleansing". Aung San Suu Kyi is merely parroting previous leaders and the President in referring to it as a "communal conflict".

    And I think ignoring it or questioning if this is really the place to explore the matter is the wrong question to ask. The world community have been doing that for decades, and it is a means to sweep it under the rug and hope it just goes away.
  19. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I am not really qualified to comment but... I ask:
    "How do the Rohingya call them selves?"

    From what I have read the Rohingya have been advocating a separatist position since the British left them all too it. They have never considered themselves to be Burmese but have maintained their own ethnic purity similar to how the Jews also did in Europe prior to founding Israel and managing to throw off the label of being stateless. Romani Gypsies also did similar but currently remain stateless.

    The point being that from our perspective they appear to be Burmese Rohingya, but from their own perspective they probably have never and will never consider themselves to be Burmese. Would I be right? or am I way off the planet?
  20. Bells Staff Member

    As Burmese.

    The word "Rohingya" has a history in Burma.

    Ermm no.

    Back in the 1940's perhaps, there were some who expressed the desire that the area be absorbed by Pakistan for the Muslim majority who live in the region, but it never really went anywhere. All they want is to be accepted as citizens and be granted their fundamental human rights. Literally, that is what they ask for and want. They have been there since the 11th century and within the last century, after centuries of persecution, they are stripped of their citizenship and declared as foreigners?

    Nope. They identify themselves as Burmese. They would not be begging to regain their citizenship and the rights granted to citizens if they wanted independence. Kind of defeats the purpose, don't you think?

    Way way off the planet.
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Given that there are 135 officially recognized ethnic groups , and 5 groups that are not recognized ( no citizenship) why would they specifically pick on the Rohingya do you think?

    To say that they seek ethnic purity doesn't seem to wash given that there are so many recognized ethnic groups in Myanmar...
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Odd man out:

    (1) They're Muslim;

    (2) unlike Burmese Pakistanis, the Rohingya have no external ties to fall back on.​

    If Myanmar comes hardcore after the Burmese Pakistani community, someone will eventually ask Pakistan for an opinion. Myanmar probably doesn't want to rumble with a nuclear-armed, military kleptostate teeming with armed, suicidal whack jobs. Neither do they wish to throw down with China, so, yeah, the Burmese Chinese are recognized, and can be citizens.

    Who is going to back the Rohingya?


    And that's why.
  23. Bells Staff Member

    Did you read up on the 5 groups who are denied citizenship?

    Did you see the difference between them and the Rohingya?

    Their laws demand it, QQ.


    Have you not heard about their 'race and religion laws'? They passed fairly recently and gained quite a bit of attention because of what they proposed. Ethnic Burmese are sadly, more often than not, racist as hell. There are many who are not, but there are also too many who are.

    I'll give you an example. The Rohingya are not the only ethnic minority group in Burma. It is safe to say that the majority of non ethnic Burmese Buddhist have faced persecution in Myanmar. But I want you to ask yourself this.. Let's look at the Kaman Muslims. They are allowed to be citizens. They have faced persecution, but being Burmese citizens, they do have access and rights that are not afforded to the Rohingya. Here are some Kaman Muslim women:

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    Now look at the images of Rohingya Muslims:

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    Would you like to guess why the Kaman Muslims were granted citizenship? Even though they have been in Myanmar less longer than the Rohingya? The Kaman are described as an indigenous group in Myanmar. Does not prevent their persecution, but they are deemed to be citizens and the rights that are attached to that.

    Why do you think the Rohingya are not?

    Why do you think Aung San Suu Kyi has requested that people not refer to them as Rohingya (a Burmese word) and instead as "Bengali's"?

    Ethnic Burmese Buddhist wish to preserve their racial and religious purity. They pretty much march for it and push for laws to ensure that protection and they have gotten those laws.

    In Myanmar, not only is there an entrenched anti-Muslim sentiment and outright paranoia, that is coupled with racism. So the Kaman people, while Muslim and yes, they do face horrific persecution at the hands of their Buhddist neighbours, have more rights than Muslims like the Rohingya.
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