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Suu Kyi's silence on Rohingyas

Publication Date : 20-06-2012

 

The release of Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her election to Myanmar parliament earlier this year had raised hopes that she will speak for the rights of Muslim Rohingyas, described by the United Nations as one of the world's most persecuted minorities.

However, one is disappointed at the way Suu Kyi has been avoiding the issue of Rohingyas. One had expected the upholder of human rights would take a clear stand on the plight of Rohingyas but as evident from her statements in Geneva on Monday, either Suu Kyi is playing safe or does not want to offend the present Myanmar regime.

When repeatedly asked by the reporters about the plight of Rohingyas, the democracy icon and opposition leader said Myanmar must clarify citizenship laws underlying ethnic tensions in the country, but declared she was unsure whether Muslim Rohingyas at the centre of clashes could be regarded as nationals.

She said: "There are some who say that some of those who claim to be Rohingyas aren't the ones actually native to Burma, but have just come over recently from Bangladesh."

"On the other hand Bangladesh says no, they don't want them as refugees because they are not native to Bangladesh but come from Burma," said Suu Kyi.

Analysts say the issue of Rohingya refugees is a political minefield for her because coming out in support of Rohingyas would alienate the majority Buddhist community.

But Suu Kyi cannot remain oblivious to the plight of the Rohingyas as the entire world is looking at her to end this injustice being perpetrated against the hapless minority who has lived in Burma for generations.

Suu Kyi must come forward to resolve this issue by initiating a dialogue for among people belonging to different ethnic and religious backgrounds and find a common ground for the peaceful resolution of this complex issue.

 

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