Sunday, January 10, 2016

Nicholas Kristof's article on Rohingyas of Myanmar

Nicholas Kristof has written an article in the New York Times on the failure of the world leaders like Suu Kyi and Obama to bring about a change in the fate of Rohingyas of Myanmar, who continue to remain the most persecuted people of our time.
In his article, Kristof writes, "SOON the world will witness a remarkable sight: a beloved Nobel Peace Prize winner presiding over 21st-century concentration camps. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, one of the world’s genuine heroes, won democracy for her country, culminating in historic elections in November that her party won in a landslide. As winner, Aung San Suu Kyi is also inheriting the worst ethnic cleansing you’ve never heard of, Myanmar’s destruction of a Muslim minority called the Rohingya. 
recent Yale study suggested that the abuse of the more than one million Rohingya may amount to genocide; at the least, a confidential United Nations report to the Security Council says it may constitute “crimes against humanity under international criminal law.”

Yet Aung San Suu Kyi seems to plan to continue this Myanmar version of apartheid. She is now a politician, and oppressing a minority like the Rohingya is popular with mostly Buddhist voters."

As such, Aung San Suu Kyi remains silent rather than denouncing them at every turn. "But for those of us who have deeply admired her for years, her willingness to sacrifice principle for political expedience is wrenching to watch. Defenders of Myanmar and of Aung San Suu Kyi note that the country has many problems; they see the Rohingya as one misfortune in a nation with a vast swath of misfortunes. The priorities, as they see them, are economic development, democracy and an end to the country’s many local conflicts, and they protest that it’s myopic to focus on the problems of one ethnic group in a nation so full of challenges.

Yet to me, there is something particularly horrifying about a government deliberately targeting an ethnic group for destruction, locking its members in concentration camps and denying them livelihood, education and health care. When kids are dying in concentration camps, after being confined there because of their ethnicity, that’s not just one more problem of global poverty. It’s a crime against humanity, and addressing it is the responsibility of all humanity," Kristof notes.

Kristof is right. I, too, have been disappointed with Suu Kyi's criminal silence. How long shall we wait for stopping this genocide of the Rohingya people?

You can read Kristof's article, Myanmar’s Peace Prize Winner and Crimes Against Humanity by clicking here.

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