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A map of Myanmar. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Myanmar crisis

A small ethnic group of Muslims in Myanmar (a mostly Buddhist country), called Rohingya (population 1.2 million out of almost 53 million in Myanmar), are being persecuted by the Myanmar military, after a group of Rohingya attacked police posts and an army base in Myanmar on August 25, killing 12.

Since the attack, the military have, according to the New York Times, “cracked down on the wider population [of Rohingya], and rights groups have accused them of killing, raping, and burning villages.” More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled the country, and more than 1,000 have been killed, according to UN officials. On September 19, Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar, finally spoke on the subject in a speech characterized by Amnesty International as being “little more than a mix of untruths and victim blaming.”

How could someone awarded a Nobel Prize for her “nonviolent struggle for democracy and human rights” (in 1991) not be actively working to save the Rohingya? Suu Kyi has no control over Myanmar’s military, and would become wildly unpopular if she defended the much-hated Rohingya. Those arguments may have made sense before, but this has long passed “unfair.” This is ethnic cleansing. It’s an inexcusable atrocity, that must be stopped. Nobody, especially not Suu Kyi, should turn a blind eye to the situation.

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About Patrick Cullinan

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