The Rohingya crisis: UN official ‘very disappointed’ in Suu Kyi

According to UNHCR, at least 604,000 Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh fleeing the violence that erupted in Myanmar on August 25


The Rohingya crisis: UN official ‘very disappointed’ in Suu Kyi
A woman carries her ill child in a refugee camp at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, September 26, 2017 Reuters

Yanghee Lee, the United Nations investigator of human rights abuses in Myanmar, has expressed deep disappointment in Aung San Suu Kyi for her indifferent response to the Rohingya crisis.

Speaking to reporters at the United Nations on Thursday, the investigator underscored international frustrations over the behaviour of the state counsellor of Myanmar regarding the persecution of the Rohingya.

Child rights expert Yanghee Lee of South Korea was appointed to her United Nations human rights post in 2014, reports the New York Times.

“Well-documented accounts of killings, rapes, burned villages and forced displacement gets no coverage in Myanmar’s news media,” Lee said while talking about the hatred and hostility against the Rohingyas in Myanmar.

She said: “It has really baffled everyone, and has really baffled me, about Daw Aung’s non-position on this issue.

“She [Suu Kyi] has not ever recognised that there is such a people called Rohingya — that’s a starting point. I’m very disappointed.”

The UN investigator added: “If the Myanmar leader [Suu Kyi] were to reach out to the people and say, ‘Hey, let’s show some humanity,’ I think people will follow her — she’s adored by the public.”

“Unfortunately, there seems to be little sympathy, let alone empathy, for the Rohingya people in Myanmar,” Lee said. “For decades, it has been cultivated in the minds of the Myanmar people that the Rohingya are not indigenous to the country and therefore have no rights whatsoever to which they can apparently claim.”

Suu Kyi skipped the annual United Nations General Assembly in September what was widely viewed as a way to avoid hard questions and confrontations over the Rohingya crisis.

She was criticised by other leaders, including some fellow Nobel laureates, for her response towards the torture on the Rohingyas in her country.

According to United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR), at least 604,000 Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh fleeing the violence that erupted in Myanmar on August 25.

Myanmar’s de-facto leader last month publicly addressed concerns over the deadly conflict in Rakhine State, highlighting her government’s commitment to restore peace, stability and rule of law in the region scarred by armed conflict between insurgents – the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) – and security forces.

Without mentioning the word Rohingya, she said carefully-worded lines of condemnation, saying that Myanmar has “never been soft on human rights”.

Earlier, on August 29, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that satellite data accessed by the rights body had revealed widespread fires burning in at least 10 areas in Rakhine State, where local residents and activists have accused soldiers of shooting indiscriminately at unarmed Rohingya men, women, and children, and carrying out arson attacks.

Myanmar authorities, on the other hand, claim that Rohingya “extremist terrorists” have been setting these fires during fights with government troops. Human Rights Watch reports they could not obtain any comments on this issue from any government spokesperson.

This article was first published on Dhaka Tribune



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