Asia, Human Rights, Politics and Government

The Rohingya People Need Help, but Aung San Suu Kyi is not to Blame for their Mistreatment

Lex Rieffel – 8.23.17

Advocacy is easy, governance is hard. Yes, the Rohingya people in Burma are being horribly mistreated, but the Aug. 18 editorial “Burma tries to hide its mistreatment of the Rohingya” was aimed at the wrong target.

The elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi since April 2016 is being denied the ability to govern according to its high principles by the military establishment that ruled the country from 1962 to 2015 and remains a state within the state.

It is the military, not the civilian government, that wants to deny the U.N. fact-finding mission access to the crime scene. And the military’s position is supported by the Buddhist-majority population in which the military has instilled over decades a fear of being displaced by Muslims, such as the Rohingya, and other non-Buddhists.

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