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Understand predicament of Suu kyi
Published on: Sunday, October 08, 2017

By Donna Barclay
The international media coverage of the events in Myanmar has led many people to believe that Aung San Suu Kyi has not taken seriously her responsibility to protect the human rights of the Rohingya ethnic minority.

If we revisit the recent history of Myanmar, we will note that Myanmar has been under military dictatorship for almost 50 years and Suu Kyi herself was under house arrest for 15 years.

She became the democratic leader of Myanmar in November 2015, however the military has denied her the title of “President”.

Myanmar is still under the control of the military and Aung San Suu Kyi is very aware that if she “over-steps” by challenging the military and their suspected involvement in the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas, she will lose the tenuous support of the military that she currently needs to implement the democratic change that she envisions for her nation.

If we look beyond the rhetoric of the international media which is screaming human rights abuse and accusing Suu Kyi of being complicit, we should look closely at the measured and pragmatic approach she is, in fact, taking.

She appointed Kofi Annan , the former UN Secretary General to head a commission to make recommendations.

She is attempting to hold onto power in a country where the military is always one step away from regaining control. She has exercised more courage in the face of adversity than many of us will ever be called upon to do. And at the same time, she is facing the scrutiny of the international media for not being proactive.

She truly is between a rock and a hard place.

Donna Barclay LLB, LLM

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