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Why flee the rohingya (and Aung San Suu Kyi says nothing)

Bangladesh, the host country, which wants to restrict your movements

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Why flee the rohingya (and Aung San Suu Kyi says nothing)

Although former activist who embodied struggle for human rights in Myanmar for 27 years occupies today post of councillor of State (equivalent of chief of Government), power remains in hands of military that controlled country for half a century. Military personnel, in exchange of letting in 2015 first elections to be credible -in which National League for Democracy (NLD) of Nobel peace prize winner received an avalanche of votes-, reserved three ministries in charge of security, 25% of seats in Parliament and right to veto any constitutional change. And, with chief of staff to head, Min Aung Hlain, who are behind campaign of violence that has been burned and destroyed hundreds of villages. Aung San Sun Kyi, whom Constitution from holding presidency, has no power over m, argue its proponents.

The Army ensures that it responds to provocations of insurgent group, Salvation Army, Rohingya in Arakan (ARSA, for its acronym in English), describing it as terrorist group. Leaving behind peaceful attitude of historic community, ARSA -of about 6,000 members, according to mselves and about 1,500 according to international analysts - went to armed action in past year. In October 2016, attacked several official positions in north of Rakhine: tough response of Army and led to flight to Bangladesh of 87.500 people. This August, guerrillas returned to charge, and attacked a hundred police stations and military barracks.

The armed forces responsible for violence, burning of homes and destruction of villages to muslims mselves, something that belie evidence on ground. And ensure that, in any case, your intervention -all lights brutal and disproportionate, and that gets into same sac-militants and civilians - is necessary to eradicate threat of a group who, y claim, has links with organizations radical islamists such as ISIS or Al-Qaeda.

up Until now, re is no evidence of such links. Although ISIS has encouraged muslims in burma to mobilize, ARSA has denied those ties and has announced suspension of its violent actions, which are so damaging have a result on ir ethnicity.

Women and children rohingya await distribution of food in Tankhali, Bangladesh. Paula Bronstein Getty Images

But arguments of Army found fertile ground among burmese population: between majority buddhist, rohingya are hated. For State -that denies m citizenship and basic rights despite fact that staying seated from generations ago - and for greater part of citizens, this ethnic group is not such, but a mass of illegal immigrants bengalis who pose a threat to balance of country, eir by ir high birth rates or as potential radical islamists. Within Myanmar, re are few who criticize what is taking place in Rakhine Tatmadaw, name that is known to burmese armed forces. And many, who remember bloody clashes between muslims and buddhists in 2012 in that State, which erupted over alleged rape and death of a girl buddhist at hands of a rohingya.

In this climate, pleasure of The Lady can be explained by ir powerlessness in face of Army and desire not to take any initiative that might endanger fragile democratic transition in burma. Or, according to point to ir detractors, because this figure as charismatic as distant have in reality same perception derogatory that majority of bamar, predominant ethnic group in country, on rohingya.

“Aung San Suu Kyi began her de facto leadership with sufficient soft power [soft power] to resolve situation, but this has dissipated rapidly in last year and a half, both internally and internationally. Internally, his Government has been relatively anemic in protection of civil liberties, and internationally lack of willingness to tackle a complex problem in Rakhine has made him lose a lot of prestige internationally,” says Michael Charney, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. “Rakhine is becoming a kind of touchstone about wher you really believe in values that NLD has flagged”.

in opinion of this expert, “it is easy to blame Constitution and lack of power over Tatmadaw. She was able to use international support to force military Junta to give up power when y controlled everything. I could have used his moral authority and his popularity, national and international to stop now military.”

Tuesday, almost a month after start of crisis, Aung San Sun Kyi will speak to and maybe it will clear doubts about his position. But, without evidence of change of attitude in Army or pressures on Tatmadaw, crisis and exodus appear to be extended. And you continue to repeat itself in future.


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