The case of Aung San Suu Kyi and the Rohingya minority has left us thinking is she a Hero turned Villain?

Her silence on the issue of genocide and persecution of the Muslim Rohingya minority in Myanmar was questionable, with widespread violence and terror against the Rohingya and other minorities in the Rakhine state, how could Suu Kyi not be aware that her people were being persecuted and still not do or say anything to condemn these actions? Why was she choosing to stay quiet? From the outside looking in it appears as though her first year in power is not going too smoothly.

With mounting pressure from the international community as to what she was going to do about the situation, she finally broke her silence in a recent interview with the Guardian and gave us all an insight into her stance on the problem in Myanmar:

“I don’t think ethnic cleansing is going on, I think ethnic cleansing is too strong of an expression to use for what’s happening”

I guess from that we can infer that Suu Kyi is very much aware of the current state of things in her country, but just doesn’t perceive people being targeted for their ethnicity and religion and having to flee for their lives into neighbouring countries as ethnic cleansing, it’s apparently “too strong of an expression”. Disappointing and shocking are just a few words that come to mind when I hear these words coming from the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. These words were enough for me to question her credibility, for someone who had been through a struggle (put under house arrest for just over a decade under former dictatorship rule) and been oppressed its funny how quickly she forgets what oppression looks like.

Although a year into the new diplomatic government the problems Myanmar faces today have been around for decades and realistically speaking can’t be solved in a year, Myanmar has always experienced conflict between its ethnic minorities, it almost runs through the veins of Myanmar.

Rumour has it that the outburst of violence against the minorities in the Rahkine state is over land, the Rohingya minority occupy land that the government and investors want to use for development and their refusal to leave has resulted in an outburst of violence and forced expulsion. Whatever the reason may be I think we can all agree and say something needs to be done to stop the discrimination and killing of innocent people.

Has Aung San Suu Kyi turned into a villain? If I’m being honest, I’m on the fence, the woman she is today seems to be a shadow of the woman I grew up reading about and admiring. Nonetheless, as much as I don’t agree with her treatment on the matter I need to bare in mind that things are never as they seem for that reason I’m still waiting to see how Suu Kyi will solve this problem and bring peace and unity into Myanmar in the next coming months and years, it is going to be an uphill battle that is for sure.

 

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