Breaking silence

As world leaders are deadest to discuss the most pressing issues including the genocide of Muslim community and plight of thousands of refugees currently languishing in overcrowded refugee camps in the neighbouring country Bangladesh, the Myanmar’s de facto prime minister Aung San Suu Kyi, in an apparent move to evade criticism of her country at the UN General Assembly, has pledged to hold rights violators to account and to resettle some of the 410,000 Muslims who have fled army operations in her country.
Suu Kyi who skipped this week’s UN General Assembly in New York to manage the crisis at home, in her televised address aimed at targeting international audience while calling for patience and understanding of the unfurling crisis in her “fragile democracy” said that she does not fear global scrutiny over the Rohingya crisis.However, the Nobel Laureate who won accolades for waging decade’s long struggle for the restoration of democratic rights against the Myanmar’s military junta maintained criminal silence over the sufferings of the minority community who have been subjected to worst kind of state terrorism. Amnesty International said the Nobel peace laureate was “burying her head in the sand” over documented army abuses and claims of rape, murder and the systematic clearing of scores of villages. It has been observed that the de-facto premier has miserably failed to rein in the country’s most powerful army that ruled the Budhist majority nation for 50 years.
Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch said, “”She is trying to claw back some degree of credibility with the international community, without saying too much that will get her in trouble with the (military) and Burmese people who don’t like the Rohingya in the first place”.

Suu Kyi’s speech is largely seen as an attempt to soothe the international community’s outrage over her country’s ill-treatment of stateless Rohingya community but it is yet to be seen whether or not her fragile government would be able to overpower/overcome the country’s mighty military junta that has been calling shoots on the ground. So far as the repatriation pledge of the de facto premier is concerned it would be the biggest challenge for her government to ensure full protection to those who were forced to leave their homeland after witnessing worst kind of state oppression and violence at the hands of so-called security forces.
The hate and fear as she mentioned in her speech are the main scourges of the world, but how effectively her own government tackles this scourge that looms large within the precincts of her state is a mega challenge and the onus of responsibility of creating a congenial atmosphere free from coercion, fear and hate-syndrome heavily lies on her government.
As a first step the Myanmar authorities should halt military action, put an immediate end to the violence, uphold the rule of law and ensure safe return of all those who had fled across the border to neighbouring countries as a result of state repression.

About Arif Qureshi

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