Millennium Post

Aung San Suu Kyi's dilemma

Even when she was under house arrest, it was impossible to believe Aung San Suu Kyi could compromise with the truth. She stood for justice, welfare for all fellow citizens and, among other things, she stood for all things humanitarian. The world recognised her in so many ways. But, after winning the last elections with such a vast majority, she has now adorned the role of controversy personified. The martial regime would not let her be President so she is now State Counsellor. An important position, that. But does that allow her total powers of governance? If it did, would the e have been allowed to snowball as it has? Even the United Nations has condemned it as ethnic cleansing. Matters have come to such a pass that she had to cancel a rare public appearance in Australia due to "ill health", hours after meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. She was due to give a speech at Sydney's Lowy Institute but the think-tank announced she had been forced to cancel as she was "not feeling well." Now, it transpires that she was all right and spending time with the Myanmarese community settled there. Suu Kyi was in Sydney for the first ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) meeting to be held in Australia. She was supposed to take questions after her official talk, which she stayed away from. But, for how long can she possibly stay away from such situations even as protests against her and the government she represents keep escalating across the globe? Her government has been accused internationally of "ethnic cleansing" against Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya population, at least 688,000 of whom have fled across the border to Bangladesh in the last six months. Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to send some of the refugees back across the border, but, so far, only around 8,000 Rohingyas have applied to be sent home. Of those, the Myanmar government has only approved the return of a few hundred refugees. During her visit, she has been met with criticism and protests by local Rohingya groups, who issued a statement calling for Turnbull to raise the ongoing human rights crisis with the Myanmar leader. Turnbull said that Suu Kyi had made a lengthy speech calling for humanitarian assistance and capacity building to help deal with the Rohingya crisis during the ASEAN meeting. "We all, everyone, seeks to end the suffering that is being occasioned by the conflict, the dislocation and the displacement of persons. So, our goal is to support a peaceful and speedy resolution of the humanitarian problems." Her visit came days after the United Nations appealed for nearly one billion dollars in funding to help support the hundreds and thousands of Rohingya refugees.

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