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No prizes for peace in Myanmar

As Malala and Desmond Tutu plead with Aung San Suu Kyi to say something useful about the Nazi-style atrocities being committed against the Rohingya, she blames “terrorists” for “a huge iceberg of misinformation” about violence that has seen the remains of a people forced into Bangladesh across a border which is being land-mined to prevent their return. The Rohingya say women have been gang-raped, their villages burned, and cornered villagers shot en masse whilst babies and toddlers are thrown into rivers. Evidence supports these accounts, with Human Rights Watch publishing satellite images showing swathes of Rohingya villages destroyed. Video footage appears to show mass graves.

Suu Kyi and her gang, as usual, say the Rohingya burn their own villages, and blame terrorists, fake news and the Guardian for the rest. They appear set on clearing Rakhine state of these non-ethnically Burmese, non-citizens, an ethnic group so despised that she refuses ever to say their name. True, the latest crackdown began after Rohingya insurgents attacked security forces, but Suu Kyi seems to feel that the actions of the inevitable militant members of a persecuted people makes ethnic cleansing with added atrocities perfectly reasonable. Indeed she is on a mission to get the world to back off. Last week she met her Indian bestie, Narendra Modi, who called her ‘a valued friend’ and issued a statement saying he shared the Myanmar government’s “concerns about extremist violence in Rakhine state and the violence against security forces.” No mention of Rohingya, but what’s a little arson, murder, rape and racism when military and trade ties are growing so well? Meanwhile her National Security Adviser Thaung Tun says, ‘we are negotiating with some friendly countries not to take it to the Security Council. China is our friend and we have a similar friendly relationship with Russia so it will not be possible for that issue to go forward.” With friends like that, who needs a Nobel peace prize anyway?

We, of course, have expressed our view in the strongest terms, Boris calling Suu Kyi one of the most inspiring figures of our age (no arguing with him, she’s inspiring murder on a grand scale). True he suggested she use her “remarkable qualities” to stop the violence and the prejudice which, he said, afflicts “both Muslims and other communities,” but it’s a damp and gushy squib worthy of Suu Kyi herself. One sadly fears that Suu Kyi’s Burma is too strategically useful, these days, to be criticised by actual countries, leaving human rights organisations, the Guardian and Fergal Keane as the last remaining defenders of the values we thought we held dear.


photo: Rohingya village burning: STR (AP)

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