The news of Rohingya’s Muslim oppression in Myanmar over the last few months has caused many parties to conclude that State Adviser Aung San Suu Kyi seems to release responsibility for the protection of human rights.

Thousands of Rohingya were deported from the land they had been living for centuries.

The humanitarian crisis that hit the Rohingya saw the most fundamental violations of human rights.

In the efforts to stabilize the situation in the state of Rakhine, the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize appointed United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan to lead the commission to identify the problem.

The final report of the commission was issued late last month and was fully accepted by Suu Kyi.

Among the proposals were the closure of internal refugee camps, freedom of movement, the participation of minorities in civic affairs and establishing mechanisms to carry out the motion of the commission.

However, a few days after the report was issued, the Rohingya Arakan Security Command (Arsa) attacked nine police security posts on the border that led to retaliation from the Tatmadaw and increase of humanitarian crises.

As a result of the second wave of violence, more than 420,000 Rohingya escaped from violence in Rakhine to neighboring Bangladesh.

In August 25, Suu Kyi, who has been silent, speaks for the first time.

Since the new fighting has taken place, Suu Kyi faces international criticisms for keeping silent about the Rohingya ethnic issue.

She seemed to refrain from acting and often avoiding any of the many highly anticipated statements.

Speaking for 30 minutes on a local television station, many allegations made by the former Nobel Peace Prize were somehow doubtful and some contradictory to the findings of the official government report and that Kofi Annan compiled.

Her speech began with outlines Myanmar’s democracies and a short period of time since her party’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party has come to power.

“After half a century of auroritarian rule, now is the time to nurture our country. The recent violence is just one of the complexities facing Myanmar.

“We are a young and fragile country that faces many problems. But we need to overcome it all. We can not concentrate on just a few things, “she explained.

Suu Kyi is seen as trying to set up wet threads by simply defending the government’s way of dealing with human rights violations against the Rohingya.

“Myanmar is committed to a sustainable solution for all communities in Rakhine and to take steps to promote peace and stability in the region.

“We want peace and not war. The government wants to end the suffering of the people as soon as possible. I accept responsibility for solving this problem.

“We do not want Myanmar to be divided into religious or ethnic differences. We all have the right to different identities. The government has never been a victim of human rights issues, “she said.

Suu Kyi’s actions remain silent and defending the kingdom might be done in order to maintain her reputation or fear the majority of Buddhas.

It was because after the junta’s reign and her term of detention ended, the people’s support for Suu Kyi was so strong that her party won the General Election in November 2015.

Five Suu Kyi claims are doubted in her speech

1. The government will investigate the cause of the migration

Suu Kyi’s assertion that the government did not know the cause of the crisis was a strange thing especially that she repeatedly referred to the report Kofi Annan, Final Report of the State Advisory Commission of Rakhine.

Reports released last month outlined some key issues including the citizenship of Rohingya, the socio-economic challenges faced by Rakhine and the police and Tatmadaw action.

Following an attack on police security posts at the border in October last year, the report said the military and police response operations caused thousands of ethnic Rohingya to flee to the border of Bangladesh.

“Although Myanmar has the right to defend its own territory, military action is unlikely to bring peace to the region.

“Unless the government-led concert action with the aid of all government and community sectors is taken immediately. Otherwise it risked the return of another cycle of terrorism that would bring about conflict in Rakhine, “explains Annan in a statement.

UN Human Rights Leader, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, described the situation in Myanmar as ethnic cleansing and it also repeated several other human rights groups.

Amnesty International Human Rights Organization and Human Right Watch (HRW) have published reports revealing the cause of the migration, including accusing the Myanmar army of intentionally burning Rohingya village in ethnic cleansing campaign against the minority.

They backed the conclusions with fire satellite images, photos and videos and witness statements on human rights violations by Myanmar authorities.

2. Myanmar is not afraid of international surveillance

Suu Kyi said she was aware of the world’s attention focused on Myanmar at the moment, but told her government was not afraid of international surveillance.

“We can arrange your visit to this area and ask those in Rakhine why they choose to stay in their village,” he said.

Although the situation may change following Suu Kyi’s speech, access to Rakhine is understood to have been limited to the media, human rights groups and diplomats.

Earlier this month, a government-controlled media trip to Rakhine was made, but journalists were not allowed to visit the area freely including interviewing residents without the intervention of official officials.

Amnesty International accused the government of denying access to relief workers to Rakhine.

Even in January, UN special representative for human rights, Yanghee Lee was also prevented from visiting several parts of the state for security reasons.

The Doctors Without Borders (MSF) welfare agency has provided services to refugees in Rakhine, but international staff have not been granted travel permission to visit health facilities since August.

3. Majority of the population of Rakhine does not migrate

The state of Rakhine has a population of about 3.1 million, about one million of whom are Rohingya.

The UN estimates that over 420,000 Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh since August 25.

They joined about one million Rohingya who were already in the country after traveling during the turbulence.

Earlier this month, the government said 176 out of 471 or 37.4 per cent of Rohingya’s villages were vacant, and additional 34 villages were partially abandoned.

In Suu Kyi’s first speech last Tuesday, she did not use the word ‘Rohingya’ to describe the Muslim population living in Rakhine.

So it is difficult to determine whether she refers to the whole population of the state or particularly the Rohingya people who are described as being unequally affected by recent violence.

It is understood that Suu Kyi only used the term Rohingya when she referred to Arsa fighters.

“She chose to use the term allegedly linked to militant groups. That is, it is the only perspective from Suu Kyi’s perspective and she expects the same international perspective, “explained law professor at Queen Mary London University.

4. All residents of Rakhine have access to education, health

Suu Kyi’s claim that Rohingya has access to the same services as non-Muslims is against Annan’s report that the Rohingya has been deprived of freedom of movement.

“The barriers to movement have various detrimental effects including reducing access to education, health and services, strengthening racial segregation and reducing economic interaction,” the report said.

In addition, access to health is extremely low in the Muslim community in the northern and central parts of the country.

5. No cleaning operation since September 5

At the end of last month, Rohingya fighters attacked police security posts and killed at least 12 members.

According to human rights groups and other observers, attacks were dealt with by military and security operations, including helicopter attacks and Rohingya village fires.

“The government’s efforts to restore the normal state of return have been successful. Since September 5, no armed fighting and no clean-up operations have been committed, “Suu Kyi claims.

However, Amnesty’s satellite images showed more than 11 villages were burned since Suu Kyi’s date.

Between 25 August and 14 September, 62 villages have been burned.- NORHANA FARIZA HARUN


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