Suu Kyi stands devoid of legitimacy

Nobel laureate’s plan to deliver aid and help resettle Rohingya sounds hollow in the absence of affirmative action

Suu Kyi stands devoid of legitimacy

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s announcement to set up a civilian-led agency in the country to deliver aid and help resettle Rohingya Muslims in their Rakhine state will remain, like the Nobel Peace laureate’s previous pledges, a hollow sham unless ground reality proves otherwise.

In the several months since Myanmar’s military began its brutal crackdown on the Rohingya of Rakhine, Suu Kyi has silently stood by as hundreds of Rohingya were massacred and tens of thousands of them fled to neighbouring Bangladesh — with hundreds of women and children perishing in the process of the perilous journey. Reports of barbaric atrocities by the Myanmar military — including burning Rohingya homes, throwing small children into fire, raping and maiming women — were severely condemned around the world, but Suu Kyi maintained a sickening silence. Even when she addressed the nation in a widely anticipated speech last month, it turned out to be a pathetically feeble defence of the government’s action and steered clear of United Nations accusations of ethnic cleansing in the state.

Meanwhile, despite the announcement of Suu Kyi and her so-called assurance, reports keep emerging of more horrible acts of violence perpetrated by the military on the hapless Rohingya populace. The proposed civilian agency by Suu Kyi’s government had apparently been long planned, and was part of an attempt to show that the civilian government she leads can deliver humanitarian relief and help resettle the Rohingya.

But with her disturbing hypocrisy and political opportunism exposed, the once vocal champion of human rights now stands shorn of any legitimacy. The world must now move without Suu Kyi to deliver justice to the Rohingya.