Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Suu Kyi will be measured for her willingness to tackle the Rohingya issue


When Suu Kyi's NLD takes control of the central government of Myanmar, it has many pressing issues to tackle. Some insincere advisers and analysts have tried to belittle the Rohingya suffering. But as Nicholas Kristof and other more conscientious analysts and reporters have suggested the Rohingya crisis should be high in her agenda. Suzanne Nossel has written an article in the FP where she echoes Kristof's views: "Having done nothing to challenge analysts who have chalked up her silence on the Rohingya question to a pre-election political calculus, Aung San Suu Kyi will be measured — particularly by the West — for her willingness to tackle it now that the polling is past. This will involve speaking frankly about the conflicts in the state of Rakhine, where most of the Rohingya live, mobilizing a range of stakeholders — including the Rakhine population and leaders from Rohingya communities — to contribute to a solution, becoming more outspoken in rejecting Buddhist extremism, and working to connect with and mobilize moderate Buddhist voices."
In spite of her inexcusable moral failure to stand up in support of the Rohingya people, deemed rightly as the most persecuted people in our time, Aung San Suu Kyi remains a singular figure whose popularity transcends politics and policy.
When such popular political figures are exposed to a grave crisis as her country now faces after half a century of military dictatorship, history shows that they either have passed the test of leadership by becoming leaders like Nelson Mandela or  have failed the test by destroying their image as Lech Walesa.
The coming days will show what path Suu Kyi follows. I personally hope that she chooses to become a Mandela and not a Walesa.
You can read her article by clicking here.

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