“For the last three weeks, Buddhist-majority Myanmar has systematically slaughtered civilians belonging to the Rohingya Muslim minority, forcing 270,000 to flee to neighboring Bangladesh — with Myanmar soldiers shooting at them even as they cross the border.
“The Buddhists are killing us with bullets,” Noor Symon, a woman carrying her son, told a Times reporter. “They burned houses and tried to shoot us. They killed my husband by bullet.”Daw 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 Daw Suu, 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 toward the Rohingya might qualify as genocide. The U.S. Holocaust Museum has also warned that a genocide against the Rohingya may be looming.”
Horrible story, great writing.
Here are two comments I recommended.
Nick, thank you for your bold reporting on this and the crises in Yemen, Angola, and numerous others. Your work is so important.
By now, Ms Aung San Suu Kyi – I used to refer her as ‘Daw’ instead of ‘Ms’ – has had more than her share of free passes. Not anymore.
I have no qualm of Henry Kissinger getting a Nobel Peace Prize. It might be a bit disingenuous but he did end the Vietnam War, even if with a ‘thud.’ But Ms Aung San is far more disappointing. For a while, people said she was new and might need her footings. But the Rohingya problem is nothing new. And allowing a Buddhist country to descent into hell is just breathtaking, in a very bad way. They are just a bunch of wrathful spirits. If Ms Aung San can’t speak out for them now, who is she supposed to protect?
Myanmar is still a military dictatorship. The civilian government, including Suu Kyi, has no real power. She knows that if she criticizes the military leaders they may eliminate the civilian government, which is just for show anyway.
She should do so anyway. It is the right thing to do, even though in the short run it will only have negative consequences.