I am writing about the Rohingyas once again because not only do this Muslim minority continue to suffer from oppression, persecution and discrimination, but it has also been an issue, among other things, raised by U.S. President Barack Obama during the latter’s recent visit to Myanmar, also known as Burma, to attend the annual summit meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Sometime in the early part of 2009 I wrote about the ill-starred Rohingyas. To give you a better insight about this people please open this link: https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/the-plight-of-the-rohingyas/.
Five years after, and with each winning the Nobel Peace Prize in between, Obama and Myanmar’s famed activist-turned politician opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi meet again where the former called for the nation to end the discrimination against the Rohingya people, urging in his strongest comments on the persecuted Muslim minority that the government grant them equal rights.
“Discrimination against a Rohingya or any other religious minority, I think, does not express the kind of country that Burma over the long term wants to be,” Obama said.
Prejudice against the minority group is widespread in Myanmar and many people refer to them as Bengali, a term suggesting they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh despite having lived in the area for generations.
Most of Myanmar’s 1.1 million ethnic Rohingya Muslims are stateless and live in apartheid-like conditions in Rakhine state in the west of the predominantly Buddhist country. Almost 140,000 are in camps after being displaced in clashes with ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in 2012.
What is ironic about the Rohingyas who have suffered violence at the hands of Buddhist mobs and are trapped in dismal camps is that even Suu Kyi has failed in saving them from their hapless plight.
Suffice to say that to this day the Rohingyas do not have concerned and real defenders of their plight and to think that Suu Kyi herself is a victim of human rights abuse.
So far Suu Kyi has only urged Myanmar’s people “to learn to live in harmony” but has even refrained from naming any specific group that has been the subject of ethnic cleansing in her own country.
From one who has suffered tremendous pain as a citizen, a wife and a mother, and clearly a victim of human rights by an abusive regime, Suu Kyi is deemed to understand more the plight of the Rohingyas. But instead she has shown nothing but indifference.
This brings me to the question: Does Suu Kyi really deserves to be called a Nobel Peace laureate?