It requires courage to say what is right, esp. in the face of much opposition. The term 'Rohingya' has become an unacceptable word for the hateful Myanmar and its Buddhist majority who are in the denial of this people of the soil of Arakan. They like to portray the persecuted Rohingya people as infiltrators from the nearby Bangladesh and calls them Bengalis. Everyone hoped that with the coming into power of Suu Kyi, such genocidal mindset would be replaced by one of integration and understanding. But our expectations with Suu Kyi continue to be premature. Her newly formed government advised foreign leaders, including the US Ambassador to Myanmar not to utter the word Rohingya when describing the persecuted Muslim minority.
To my great delight, the new ambassador of the United States to Myanmar said on Tuesday he will keep using the term Rohingya for the persecuted Muslim minority, even after the government controlled by Nobel prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi asked him to refrain from it. Scot Marciel took over as the head of the U.S. mission at a critical time after Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won a landslide victory in historic elections, following decades of pro-democracy struggle.
"Our position globally and our international practice is to recognize that communities anywhere have the ability to choose what they should be called... and we respect that," said Marciel, in response to a question on whether he intended to continue using the term Rohingya.
He added that this has been Washington's policy before and that the administration intended to stick to it.
My sincere appreciation and salutation to the Ambassador for his courage to stand for what is right.