Fake News IS Fanning Flames Of Violence, Says Suu Kyi

Posted September 09, 2017

The prime minister is facing increasing pressure to revoke the honorary Canadian citizenship given to Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's de facto leader and a Nobel Peace Prize victor, over her failure to protect her country's Rohingya minority population.

In Afghanistan's western Herat province, protesters demanded an end to violence against the Rohingya, and in Islamabad, demonstrators stomped on pictures of Myanmar's state leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Witnesses in Myanmar's Rakhine state say entire villages have been burned to the ground since Rohingya militants launched a series of coordinated attacks on Aug 25, prompting a military-led crackdown.

Tutu's September 7 letter came as the United Nations migration agency, the IOM and the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR both said that 270,000 people have fled violence in Myanmar to seek safety in Bangladesh in two weeks.

"She was the one person in the country who really could have challenged this really ingrained and endemic prejudice against Muslims in the country and Rohingya in particular", Mark Farmaner, of Burma Campaign UK, told CBC News.

The world is watching aghast as a slow-motion horror unfolds on Myanmar's frontier with Bangladesh.

He noted that "the images we are seeing of the suffering of the Rohingya fill us with pain and dread".

He said Suu Kyi and her government established the Rakhine Commission under the leadership of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan a year ago.

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Constitutional amendment had been highlighted as a priority by Ms Suu Kyi repeatedly in recent years, but the assassination of her party's legal adviser earlier this year appears to have scuttled that plan. The anti-Rohingya hatred is a manifestation of the Buddhist fundamentalism that threatens the crescent of Buddhist-majority countries stretching from Sri Lanka through Myanmar and Thailand to Cambodia.

'But what some have called "ethnic cleansing" and others "a slow genocide" has persisted - and recently accelerated.

None other than 1991 Nobel Peace Prize victor Aung San Suu Kyi, who also happens to be one of Canada's six honorary citizens.

"The de facto leader needs to step in - that is what we would expect from any government, to protect everybody within their own jurisdiction", Yanghee Lee, the UN's special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar said this week. As you know that we have all been in the administration only 18 months.

I visited Myanmar in 2014 and interviewed many Rohingya in the miserable, water-logged camps of Rakhine where thousands of displaced Rohingya struggle to survive.

I also met radical Buddhists in Rakhine and other parts of Myanmar who supported the persecution of the Rohingya and actively encouraged it.

The reality is that one "Lady's" terrorists are another one's insurgents, fighting against the excesses of a military machine bent on ethnically cleansing Myanmar of its Muslim minority and history.

Some have called for the Nobel Peace Prize she won in 1991 as a champion of democracy to be revoked.

Protesters rallied Friday in Jakarta, shouting "God is great", while in Tokyo, police had to separate those who support the Rohingya from counterprotesters who call them terrorists.