Written By: Margot Hutton
Dear Aung San Suu Kyi,
I always have admired you for your engagement in the effort to bring peace and democracy to your country. I believe this fight needed your bravery, patience, and devotion to make Myanmar a better place for everyone living there.
Those decades of fight, of sacrifice, of house arrest, as you dared to promote a better world and speak out against a dictatorship, were not for nothing. It was a victory when you took office as foreign minister and state counsellor last year.
You won the Nobel Peace Prize during your fight, and earned the respect of the international community and the United Nations. You became an icon of the democratic movement. You were compared to leaders like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. Books and movies told your story and presented you as one of the greatest leaders of our time. Everyone around the world could not deny the fact that you were a good person, acting for the good of your country.
All that being said, can you tell me why, now that you have all the necessary power to do so, are you not doing something about the genocide taking place right under your nose?
For years they have been the “world’s most persecuted minorities” (as stated in this National Geographic article by Brook Larmer), but these last few months have really forced the world to take notice of what has been happening to the Rohingya minority. We have met these people at the Bangladeshis boarder, where they have come to seek asylum, and they have told us what your armies are doing to them: now, the slaughter is turning into genocide. How can you allow that to continue?
This is clearly not what we expect of a Nobel Peace Prize winner. You cannot be surprised to hear to cries from people calling to have all the prizes that you won during your fight for democracy in Myanmar taken away from you. You must have been aware that this would have been a consequence of your choice to remain silent about this abhorrence.
You told us, in front of the UN, that Myanmar is aware of what is happening to the Rohingya and promised that action would be taken to restore peace there. However, since this speech was made, nothing seems to have been done: villages are still burning and people are still risking their lives to cross the border to Bangladesh.
What can the world think of you now except that maybe you are not a good person after all? What assumptions can we make? Is your inaction against this atrocity the price you had to pay to take control of Myanmar Government? If so, was it worth it?
Considering that everything the world has done to try to have a say in this crisis has made no real impact on the situation, I believe my letter will be, in the grand scheme of things, pointless. I know that I will almost definitely not be read by you, but it will be read by others. If there are still some that do not read the news or watch TV and have never heard of this, it will make them aware of the ethnic cleansing that you are allowing to happen in Myanmar.
I feel lucky to write it, because I do not think that the Rohingya people have this kind of opportunity (even if they are the one that need a voice the most).
I hope you will change this soon,
There is currently an emergency appeal to help Rohingyan refugees fleeing this slaughter, and you can donate by visiting the Disasters Emergency Committee at www.dec.org.uk.
For more information about the Crisis, here are some recommended articles: