There is no ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims, claims Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate and de facto leader of Myanmar, has denied that there is any ethnic cleansing of the minority Rohingya Muslim community in the country, making the claim in a BBC interview.

When asked if she ever worried about being remembered as the Nobel laureate and champion of human rights who failed to stand up against ethnic cleansing in her country, Suu Kyi categorically denied, “No, because I don’t think there is ethnic cleansing going on…Ethnic cleansing is too strong an expression to use for what’s happening.”

The first state counsellor of Myanmar stood by the view that tensions in the region were high because of prevalent antagonism. “I think here’s a lot of hostility there. And as I just pointed out, it’s Muslims killing Muslims as well.”

“It’s a matter of people on different sides of the divide, and this divide we are trying to close up as best as possible,” Suu Kyi said.

‘The Lady’, as she is widely known, has shocked international communities in recent months for her silence on Rohingya Muslims by the Myanmar Army.

Last month, the United Nations Human Rights Council agreed to dispatch a fact-finding mission to investigate whether troops had committed suspected crimes against humanity.

However, the government has rejected the probe saying that the investigations would only “inflame” tensions.

‘No one told me I was going to be interviewed by a Muslim’

Suu Kyi made headlines last year when it was revealed she had muttered: “No one told me I was going to be interviewed by a Muslim” after an intense 2013 interview with BBC reporter Mishal Hussain.

Mishal Hussain, a British-Pakistani reporter, conducted the interview with a specific focus on atrocities being committed against Rohingya Muslims.

In the interview, the Myanmar leader refused to acknowledge that there was any ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims, justifying her statement by saying, “Muslims have been targeted but also Buddhists have been subject to violence. There’s fear on both sides.”

The claim of the off-screen comment was made by Peter Popham, a journalist with The Independent newspaper and author of newly published book “The Lady and The Generals — Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma’s Struggle for Freedom”.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *