World leaders, NGO’s and fellow peace prize winners speak out over Aung San Suu Kyi’s role in Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis.
Myanmar’s Nobel Peace Prize winning Aung San Suu Kyi is facing intense scrutiny for her role in the plight of her nation’s Rohingya population, Aljazeera wrote.
Almost 300,000 Rohingya have fled into neighboring Bangladesh, according to the UN, since renewed violence between state security forces and the minority group began more than two weeks ago.
The disruption started on August 25 after Rohingya fighters attacked police posts in Rakhine, on Myanmar’s (formerly Burma) western coast, triggering a military crackdown.
Kyi, the nation’s state counsellor and de facto leader, claimed this week that the situation is being twisted by a “huge iceberg of misinformation”, as reported by the BBC.
“We make sure that all the people in our country are entitled to protection of their rights as well as, the right to, not just political but social and humanitarian defense,” she reportedly told Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a phone call on September 5.
The Rohingya, frequently described as “the world’s most persecuted minority”, are a mostly Muslim ethnic group, who have lived in majority Buddhist Myanmar for centuries.
This Southeast Asian nation is home to more than 100 ethnic groups and approximately 55 million people.
A number of high-profile individuals have publicly criticized Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her campaign supporting democracy in Myanmar, in light of the crisis.
Collated below is some of the criticism by those who have spoken out.
Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani Nobel Peace laureate, has condemned the apparent inaction of Aung San Suu Kyi in response to the emerging crisis in Myanmar.
“Every time I see the news, my heart breaks at the suffering of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar,” Yousafzai, who famously survived being shot in the head by the Taliban, tweeted on September 3.
Yousafzai, 20, called on the international community to provide sanctuary for those fleeing the violence.
“Other countries, including my own country Pakistan, should follow Bangladesh’s example and give food, shelter and access to education to Rohingya families fleeing violence and terror,” she wrote.
“Over the last several years, I have repeatedly condemned this tragic and shameful treatment. I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the 1984 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending South Africa’s policy of apartheid, has also called on Kyi to end the Rohingya’s suffering.
Denouncing the “unfolding horror”, the 85 year old implored with his “dearly beloved younger sister” to intervene in the crisis and “guide your people back towards the path of righteousness again”, in an open letter published on September 7.
“If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep,” he wrote.
“A country that is not at peace with itself, that fails to acknowledge and protect the dignity and worth of all its people, is not a free country. It is incongruous for a symbol of righteousness to lead such a country; it is adding to our pain.”