‘Where are we headed? Has our democratic transition in Myanmar turned full circle? Are we back under an autocratic regime albeit one that was democratically elected?’
Eight Myanmar nationals living outside of their home country penned an open letter to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday, urging her to end the violence in Rakhine state.
The signatories, who claim that some of their fathers were collegues of Suu Kyi’s father General Aung San, also implored her to live up to his legacy by stopping the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
“As your fellow countrymen, with deep roots in our troubled birthplace, we are writing to you to share our sadness and concern about your personal legacy as the nation’s leader, the plight of our people, and the future of Myanmar as a nation,” the letter reads.
Drawing attention to the universal support Suu Kyi received during her years as a prisoner of conscience campaigning for democracy in Myanmar, it goes on to express disappointment at how events had unfolded after the long sought after elections were finally earned.
“We rejoiced when you were released, and waited to see how you would rally the nation to our common cause – democracy. But you acknowledged none of your able supporters and fellow dissidents, exiled or formerly jailed, much less consulted with them,” the letter said.
“Worse still, we were shocked by your statement that you were a politician – meaning political expediency might guide your decision-making, as if universal human rights and politics were mutually exclusive,” it added.
Furthermore, the letter expressed concerns with the formation of Suu Kyi’s government.
“None of the well-respected experienced senior NLD leaders were included…Most were inexperienced NLD newcomers and the only ones with any real capacity or experience were ex-military, functionaries of the very regime that had incarcerated you,” it said.
“Where are we headed? Has our democratic transition in Myanmar turned full circle? Are we back under an autocratic regime albeit one that was democratically elected?”
The letter concluded with a condemnation of the violence by Myanmar military in the Rakhine state and calls for Suu Kyi to intervene.
“Given the memory of your father and the supreme leadership position that you now hold in the country, we are appealing to you to draw a firm line based on democratic principles and human compassion. Burmese society is sleep-walking into the abyss of racial hatred and religious bigotry. The violence against the Rohingya must end. Whatever the crimes of the militants, it is wrong to kill innocent villagers,” it said.
The signatories to the letter were Tun Aung, Bilal Raschid, U Kyaw Win and Moethee Zun, Ko Aung, Maung Zarni, Harn Yawnghwe and Kin Oung.
SOURCE: Dhaka Tribune