By Hilmy Ahamed –
The Queen of Peace and the winner of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, Aung San Suu Kyi is today performing the Maori HAKA at the brutal and sadistic murder of Rohingya children, women and men. Aung San Suu Kyi is now the de-facto leader of Myanmar and presides over the ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) that is brutally murdering the Rohingya people. In an article in the New York Times of January 2016, Nicholas Kristoff claims, “Soon the world will witness a remarkable sight: a beloved Nobel Peace Prize winner presiding over the 21st-century concentration camps.” It is already happening in the Rakhine State in Aung San Suu Kyi’s Myanmar.
Is this not an insult to the justification given by the Noble Prize Committee in awarding her the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1991? The world praised her as the queen of peace, but the sadistic government she heads now has no respect for peace or human values. The Nobel committee’s motivation for the award as stated in 1991 is: “for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights” in Myanmar. The brutality of the Myanmar forces would make Adolf Hitler look a saint and his concentration camps, a school for kids. Men, women and children are slaughtered daily with machetes and electric chain saws. Tens of thousands of Rohingya have been forcibly confined in deplorable conditions in camps in Sittwe, and the international community is silent, waiting to exploit the vast mineral resources of this barbaric nation.
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There is ample evidence of ethnic cleansing with impunity, perpetrated by the military government, which amounts to genocide. In May 2015, global attention was brought to the humanitarian crisis faced by the Rohingya stranded off the coast of Thailand. Since then, there have been calls for an end to what appears to be government inaction or lack of accountability for extreme human rights abuses in Rakhine.
All this comes from a female leader and the daughter of the legendary liberation activist Aung San and not from the military dictator, General Than Shwe.
The Rohingya people have lived in Burma mainly in the Arakan region since the 17th Century and are believed to be descendants of workers brought from West Bengal by the British rulers. Part of this region is present day Bangladesh. Successive Burmese governments have persecuted the Rohingya people and thousands have been executed, many live in IDP camps and some have escaped out of the country. To add insult to injury, another women leader across the border, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh has refused to accept the Rohingya people.
In 1982, General Ne Win‘s Government enacted the Burmese nationality law, which denied Rohingya citizenship, rendering a majority of the Rohingya population stateless. It is similar to the plight of our plantation workers prior to the Sirima-Shastri pact of 1964.
Major riots broke out in June 2012 in Rakhine State due to a series of conflicts, sparked by a gang rape of a Rakhine woman by some Rohingya. This led to continued conflict between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya in northern Rakhine State in Myanmar, and by October of that year, non Buddhist ethnic minorities had been targeted with impunity provided by the military administration. There were had been 88 casualties during this violence. An estimated 90,000 people have been displaced by the violence in August 2012 violence alone. About 2,528 houses were torched, and of those, 1,336 belonged to Rohingyas and 1,192 belonged to Rakhines.
It is clear that anti-Rohingya propaganda has become part of regular nationalist discourse. There is ample evidence of increasing incitement of hatred and religious intolerance by ultra-nationalist Buddhists” against the Rohingyas while the Burmese security forces have been conducting summary executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detention, torture and ill-treatment and forced labour against the Rohingya community. International media and human rights organizations have often described the Rohingyas as one of the most persecuted. The face of Buddhist terror and disgraced leader Ashin Wirathu has led the hate campaign against the ethnic minorities, especially the Rohingya people.
In 2013, when Mishal Hussain of the BBC interviewed Aung San Suu Kyi and asked about the violation of human rights of the Burmese Muslim,. sheAung San Suu Kyi lost her cool and while walking away said, “No one told me that I was to be interviewed by a Muslim”, a clear sign of her prejudice. Coming from a ‘heroine of democracy’tic hero, and a Nobel Peace Laureate, one racist statement is one too many. It destroys the democratic values that respects differences in beliefs.
Myanmar has undergone over 50 years of military rule and is finally making the long-awaited transition to elected government. Its second liberation is brought about by Aung San Suu Kyi, the head of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) and the daughter of Aung San, the man who is known for engineering Myanmar’s first liberation from the British. Aung San Suu Kyi has faulted by ignoring calls to safeguard the Rohingya people. The International Community, who claim to be champions of democracy and non violence need to act immediately to protect the Rohingya people.
ASEAN and South Asian countries, especially nations around Myanmar– ie Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Bangladesh, should take the lead in mobilizing the international community to intervene and stop the massacre of innocent children, women and men and find a lasting solution to the dilemma of being stateless, faced by the Rohingya people.
United Nations should take urgent action to save the oppressed Rohingya people from further mass massacres through trade sanctions and armed intervention if needed, since calls tofor ceaseing the unspeakable atrocities against them have been repeatedly ignored.
The International Criminal Court should bring to justice Myanmar’s defacto Head of Government Aung San Suu Kyi and prosecute her for war crimes. Her government’s active role in the atrocities against the Rohingya people has been well documented and proven beyond any doubt.
The Nobel Committee should take immediately action to withdraw the Nobel Peace Award conferred on Aung Sang Suu Kyi since she has proven herself not to be a peacemaker but rather a war-monger, hell-bent on massacring harmless unarmed civilians.
The civilized nations of the world should come forth to cease diplomatic relations with the Government of Myanmar until such time it takes legal action against the perpetrators of the atrocities against the Rohingya,s beginning from top government officials to the military that still continues to kill innocent civilians with impunity.
Myanmar is a mineral rich country and the East as well as the West haves major commercial interests in exploiting these mineral reserves. This is probably the reason why the international community has not addressed the state terrorism that takes place against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities in Myanmar. Failure to act justly on the part of the international community and neighbouring states will be written in history with the blood of the Rohingya people.