Human Rights |Developing

Developing: Aung San Suu Kyi breaks her silence on Rohingya

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and effective leader of Myanmar, finally spoke out against violence in Rakhine state, but did not explicitly call out state-led violence against the Rohingya — a Muslim minority long denied citizenship despite roots in the country going back centuries.

In response to her televised speech, human rights group Amnesty International accused Suu Kyi, and her government, of “burying their heads in the sand” in response to what the United Nations has called “ethnic cleansing”.

  • Suu Kyi condemned human rights violations in Rakhine state and said that those responsible for the violence would be held accountable.
  • This was the first public address by Suu Kyi since violence by Rohingya insurgents on 25 August sparked a backlash by Myanmar’s military which retains sole jurisdiction over internal affairs and defence.
  • More than 400,000 Rohinyga, a majority Muslim population, have been forced to flee to Bangladesh over the past month.
  • The UN has compared the violence to ethnic cleansing and Suu Kyi has been repeatedly criticised for not speaking out against the military’s tactics. On September 5, she said that an “iceberg of misinformation” was skewing media coverage of the violence.
  • Speaking in the new Myanmar capital, Napyidaw today, the Nobel laureate said: “Action will be taken against all people, regardless of their religion, race and political position, who go against the law of the land and violate human rights”.
  • James Gomez, Amnesty’s director for South East Asia and the Pacific, said that the speech “amounted to little more than a mix of untruths and victim blaming”.

Read more: Analysis: Why Rohingya are world’s “most-persecuted minority”


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Jack Barton is a staff journalist at WikiTribune where he writes about international law, human rights and finance, whilst covering daily news. He was previously a senior reporter at Law Business Research and has experience covering law and international development, with credits in the Sunday Times, the New Indian Express, and New Statesman online among others. He has an LLM in Human Rights and worked on a UN-funded research project, looking at peace processes.

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17 March 2018

• (view) . . Comment: Feedback on everything please!‎; 15:17:02, 17 Mar 2018 . . Peter Bale (talk | contribs)‎‎ ( Comment -> We're all experimenting with this. The briefing and our news stubs (to use a Wikipedia idea) are intended to allow us to be timely and current and relevant and then buy a little breathing space to think about what something really means without joining the stampede. )

12 January 2018

04 December 2017

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