(part of The Darkness Visible series)
(The Ironic Ideologue)
Almost from day one of her imprisonment the outside world begged and pleaded for Aung San Suu Kyi to be released. Their misguided pleas were intended to help bring about the "democratic revolution" that the idealist believed Suu Kyi stood to represent. It was believed that universal human rights were right around the corner for Burma. And Suu Kyi was the poster child for the movement.
Well here we are today and Suu Kyi is released and free. She is an active participant in Burma's ruling party. Her voice is clearly heard in Myanmar as the voice of the people... or at least those whom Burma considers to be human beings. And for some time now she has been the voice of democracy in Burma for the outside world transfixed with her every move.
For those who have been watching the Arakan region of Suu Kyi's country one would wonder where the democracy she speaks of is. Universal human rights are as far from reality for the Rohingya as food and water are. There is nothing human about the way Burma is treating it's native ethnic minorities... especially the Rohingya.
So what does Suu Kyi think about Burma's Muslim minorities?
Till recently Suu Kyi had parroted just what the West wanted to hear about the situation in the Arakan. During her visits tot he West she has been the polite pet of the Western governments as she collected her awards and spoke when told to do so. When watching Suu Kyi in her parades across Europe you could almost see how she mirrored just what her audience had projected upon her. In doing this, Suu Kyi's performance has been impeccable... much like other famous nationalists of days long past.
“A country must decide its citizenship for itself..."
~ Aung San Suu Kyi
Suu Kyi recently responded to critics of her country's 1982 Citizenship Law in much the same way as her leader, Thein Sein, has in the past. Dancing around the phrases "mind your own business" and "shut-up", Suu Kyi made it clear that Burma's laws will only be made and decided upon by the Burmese. This has been state policy every since the law was made after all.
On February 20Th, 2013 Deputy Minister of Immigration and Population Kyaw Kyaw Win told the Burmese Parliament that there was no such thing as a "Rohingya" minority in Myanmar. Leaders, such as Suu Kyi and Thein Sein, seem to agree since not one of them decided to make a rebuttal to the idiotic claim. In fact there has only been one government official (Shwe Maung) to even bother to correct the Minister of Immigration and Population (note who made the initial claim and his position in government).
Suu Kyi's party took the opportunity to once again claim that the Minister of Immigration and Population was technically correct since Myanmar does not recognize the Rohingya at all. This once again helped to solidify the fact that Suu Kyi herself does not disagree at all with Myanmar's current stance upon the genocide of the Rohingya people. Instead it points to the fact that Suu Kyi, much like the rest of her party, believes that the "stateless" Rohingya are simply illegal immigrants... no matter how long ago they may have "immigrated" to what is now modern day Myanmar.
"We have to be very clear about what the laws of citizenship are and who are entitled to them."
~ Aung San Suu Kyi
It is this embed racism and bigotry that has helped fuel the complicity of Arakan state officials and Myanmar military leaders in the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya throughout Burma. It is the underlying reason that the ethnic violence has been allowed to spread from the Rakhine region on into the capitol city of Rangoon. And it is the reason that the Burmese government itself has no reason nor will to stop the violence that started in mid 2012.
Suu Kyi's complacency in the genocide should show the West that as long as Burma is not forced to recognize that its actions (and inaction) are violations of international law then Myanmar will do nothing to correct its criminal behavior. In addition to this the fixation with Suu Kyi herself will forever show future and present war criminals that the West's (and international) affection can be bought. Her cult of personality shows that even genocide can be forgiven as long as the killer is willing to portray himself/herself in the light the world finds comfortable.
Suu Kyi's awards should have been revoked or withheld after the conflict began. It would not have been long before the world could had noticed that this "ethnic violence" was in fact ethnic cleansing. And had we not been so busy praising Suu Kyi, we would have noticed her lack of concern and complacency with the slaughter.
If silence is as much a crime as doing the killing itself. Then Suu Kyi is a murder, not the victim.
(note not all sources are listed)
Democratic Voice of Burma