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Aung San Suu Kyi, the most Human Rights denying Noble Laureate

Ro Mayyu Ali
RB Opinion
July 12, 2017

The honor of Suu Kyi’s human rights falls down when she is, being the country’s de facto leader not allowing U.N investigation to visit the country. Instead, the coordinated operation started again one more in troubled Northern Rakhine State since last week. 

Winning the Noble Peace Prize in 1991, Aung San Suu Kyi has become the world's most famous political prisoner and a touchstone of Western liberal conscience. The Western World has been keeping their eagle-eyes on her every single step. Every breath in her past has earned the big round of applause and encouragement. “Ms. Suu Kyi, 64, was a model of dignity and composure” said a senior Western diplomat who was in court during her house-arrest detention time. 

On 13 of November, 2010, she was released from her house-arrest. From then on, she has started to tour throughout the western world to collect her furthermore honors. Every corner where she has visited, she was treated like “beacon of hope” and “champion of Human Rights”. How thrilled it was seeing the moment when she was welcomed and praised with a garland putting on her neck by Myanmar’s ethnic minorities who live in abroad. The world was like her grandparents’ home where she has received many surprises and wonderful things for her life. 

Few months later on Suu Kyi led civilian democratic administration, there was a coordinated area clearance operation launched by military and police accused for many human rights abuses against Rohingya in Northern Rakhine State. Being the Myanmar’s State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi has been denying any human rights abuses caused by her country’s security forces during the operation in Maungdaw. “The accusation was ‘false’ and ‘fabrication’” replied Aung San Suu Kyi by laughing out loud during a visit in Singapore. 

In December, 2016, more than a dozen fellow Nobel laureates wrote an open letter to the UN Security Council warning of a tragedy “amounting to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”. It cited the “potential for genocide”. Moreover, some of Suu Kyi’s other supporting fellows highly encouraged her to seek a resolution for her country’s Rohingya minority. “Show me a country without human rights issues” Aung San Suu Kyi said in October, as reported by New York Times. “Every country has human rights abuses” she added.

During the last 34th Session, the United Nations Human Rights Council has decided to set up an independent investigation into alleged human rights abuses in Northern Rakhine State. The government, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, had already said it would not cooperate with a mission. “If they are going to send someone with regards to the fact-finding mission, then there’s no reason for us to let them come,” said Kyaw Zeya, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “It would have created greater hostility between the different communities” said Suu Kyi. 

Having led the pro-democracy in Myanmar, Suu Kyi has attracted widespread criticism for her failure to condemn persecution of the Rohingya minority. The arrests alarmed Myanmar’s media community, fuelling fears that freedom of speech has become increasingly restricted since the government of Suu Kyi took power in April last year. A couple of week ago, three reporters from the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) and the Irrawaddy were detained at an undisclosed location by the army will be charged under a colonial-era statute against “unlawful association”. 

However, nothing matters to Suu Kyi even being a Noble Peace Laureate. Speaking to the BBC’s special correspondent Fergal Keane in last April, she said, “I’m just a politician. I’m not quite like Margaret Thatcher… but on the other hand, I’m no Mother Teresa either.” 

Some unusual things in Suu Kyi’s life has been discovering so significant in these days. When she visits to foreign countries, she faces with a mass protest. She is the first Burmese woman who is treated as ‘denying mother’ and ‘cursing mother’ by Myanmar’s minorities living in abroad. She always tries to refuse meeting with Burmese appointees in there. Perhaps, she is no longer a good leader. 

Ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and genocide are the respective higher levels of human rights abuses. Denying those abuses is denying human rights. The one who denies human rights is a human rights violator. How much amount of criticism Suu Kyi faces for her failures or encouragement she receives to stand on the side of minorities’ rights, she seems no more compromising. Indeed, she is the world’s first Noble Peace Laureate who denied the self-identity of a minority group of people like Rohingya in Myanmar to be called they themselves as ‘Rohingya’. 

Today, she is seen as the most human rights denying Noble Peace Laureate in the world. Thus, she is no more the Aung San Suu Kyi whom the world had once. She is just a failure wife for her husband, a failure mother for her two sons, a failure beacon of hope for her country’s minorities and a failure human rights icon for the whole world.

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