Colombo Telegraph

A Hypocrite’s Masquerade Of Virtue

By Mass L. Usuf

Mass Usuf

It is said that hypocrisy or double‑facedness is the evil characteristic of the person who assumes an outward appearance and simulates a behaviour that is contrary to his inner state. Such a person may give an impression of friendship and pretend to be sincere and sympathetic, while in his heart he harbours an opposite feeling. These are those who behave in one manner in front of people and differently in their absence. To masquerade displaying one’s virtues and acting contrary to the displayed virtues is plain hypocrisy.

Aung San Suu Kyi has won many awards for democracy and human rights, including the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought (European Parliament, 1991), the Nobel Peace Prize (1991), and the International Simon Bolívar Prize (1992). She was influenced by the teachings of Gandhi, who was a believer in nonviolent civil disobedience.  She was called the ‘Prisoner for Peace’ and the ‘Fearless Voice of Burma’.

During the period when Suu Kyi’s was under house arrest the United Nations called for her release, as did a number of other national and international groups, including Amnesty International and the worldwide human rights organizations.

The Suu Kyi of today seems not the same person. Times have changed and the true inner state of this pretender is now gradually revealing itself. Opportunism and selfishness embellishes the laurels of this Nobel laureate. The letter from anti-apartheid campaigner and Nobel laureate of South Africa Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks volumes of the greed which has enveloped this woman. The Archbishop with reference to the present humanitarian catastrophe that is being played out under her leadership wrote: “My dear Sister if the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep”.

Sri Lankan Suu Kyi

Are these characteristics unique to Suu Kyi? We have scores of Suu Kyis in Sri Lanka too, though not in the same gender but sharing similar demeanour. For instance, it is nothing but pure greed for power that makes those in the previous regime to do whatever they are doing and to say whatever they are saying. We see the same greed in those who are in power who are holding on to it tightly lest it slips away from them. In all this drama patriotism, Buddhism, nationalism and race are prostituted to cater to the same selfish and opportunistic goals. If Suu Kyi’s conduct is deceptive and pretentious not different are most of our local counter parts.

Suu Kyi Speaks Only The Truth. 

Satellite images of several burnt down villages according to Suu Kyi were destruction caused by the villagers themselves collectively burning down their own houses. The number of Rohingya refugees fleeing the killing fields of the Rakhine province into Bangladesh has risen sharply to nearly 300,000. 

Most of them had walked for four days through dangerous routes to cross the border. They are now living in makeshift camps and settlements along the roads. The UN camps are full and overflowing. These refugees have no food nor proper shelter. The infants are crying in hunger and those injured by gunshots are slowly dying due to lack of emergency medical treatment. All this according to Suu Kyi is dramatization.

Suu Kyi knows very well that the Rohingyas who were citizens of Myanmar were deprived of their citizenship overnight by the passage of a new Citizenship law making them aliens. Systematic pogroms and burning of houses and villagers meant that these people’s documents were all destroyed. Then the Myanmar government makes the claims that they are illegal immigrants and that they do not have proper documentations.

Apparently, only Suu Kyi is speaking the truth. The rest are all uttering falsehood. For her the massacre that is continuing is fake news. She blames the “terrorists” for “a huge iceberg of misinformation”. The views of the so-called defender of human rights, the advocate of rule of law and a committed non-violence activist are absurd.

Based on the Suu Kyi hypothesis of “huge iceberg of misinformation”, here is a list of those who are mere speculative ‘liars’, on the worsening situation in the State of Rakhine and the Rohingya people.

1. More than 300,000 people have signed an online petition asking the Nobel committee to rescind the prize awarded in 1991. (The Guardian, 05.09.2017).

2. Is it for nothing that the Nobel Laurette South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote, “I am now elderly, decrepit and formally retired, but breaking my vow to remain silent on public affairs out of profound sadness about the plight of the Muslim minority in your country, the Rohingya.”

3. Pope John Paul II has regularly spoken out in defence of the Rohingya, calling them a persecuted Muslim group in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar.  On Sunday, he bemoaned the latest “sad reports of the persecution of a religious minority, our Rohingya brothers” adding: “I would like to express my closeness to them and all of us ask the Lord to save them and to prompt men and women of good faith to help them and ensure their full rights.”

4. The United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres, has appealed to Myanmar to end the violence that has led more than 120,000 Rohingya people to flee in the last two weeks, which he warned was “creating a situation that can destabilise the region”. The United Nations secretary-general has warned that the operations could verge on ethnic cleansing.

5. The UN Human Rights Council in March 2017 established an independent, international fact-finding mission with a mandate to investigate allegations of recent human rights abuses in Burma, especially in Rakhine State.

6. Human Rights Watch said that new satellite data is consistent with widespread burnings in at least 10 areas in northern parts of Burma’s Rakhine State, The Burmese government should grant access to independent monitors to determine the sources of fires and assess allegations of human rights violations. 

The government of Myanmar has refused to cooperate even with the UN Human Rights Council mission and indicated it will deny visas to three experts appointed to the mission. “The Burmese government has repeatedly shown that it has neither the interest nor the skill to credibly and impartially investigate abuses in Rakhine State,” said Robertson of Human Rights Watch. “Concerned governments should press for independent investigations of serious rights violations, or there will be many more victims.”

The Bhantes And The Government

The Sri Lankan government under Mahinda Rajapakse welcomed the hate preaching Ashin Wirathu into this blessed country.  His credentials include his picture in the cover page of the Time magazine of 20 June 2013, with the caption “The Face of Buddhist Terror.” He was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his sermons, but was released in 2012 along with many other political prisoners. He is responsible for inspiring sectarian violence against the country’s minority, Rohingya Muslims. Indirectly due to his hate campaign thousands of Muslims were killed in Myanmar. In January 2015 Wirathu publicly called United Nations envoy, South Korean developmental psychologist and professor at Sungkyunkwan University, Yanghee Lee a “bitch” and a “whore” and invited her to “offer your arse to the kalars” (a derogatory term for Muslims).

By the way, in relation to the superiority of one person over another human the following lines are worth pondering, in the Sri Lankan context.  If “A” calls ‘B” Hambaya, ‘A’ must remember that he and urine came out of the same place; that he began as a despised drop of sperm and he will end up as a rotten corpse, and that in between he is a vessel for faeces.  The Hambaya is no different.  So, what does he have to feel so proud, superior and arrogant about?

Dalai Lama once speaking in the Indian town of Leh said, “I urge the Buddhists in these countries (referring to Myanmar and Sri Lanka) to imagine an image of Buddha before they commit such a crime. Buddha preaches love and compassion. If the Buddha is there, he will protect the Muslims whom the Buddhists are attacking.”

Human rights consideration demand that the government issue a statement expressing its concern over the Rohingya crisis.  Reflecting on Buddhism, some words of wisdom from our respectable bhantes is wanting.  This may serve as a source of guidance and understanding to the Myanmar government.  After all, they, like Sri Lanka, follow Theravada Buddhism. Similar wise words may also be directed at our fellow citizens.  Some of them unfortunately, are saying ‘hurrah’ at the death and destruction of another human. Such behaviour insults Buddhism as if ‘Metta’ (loving kindness) was never in Buddha’s vocabulary! 

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