Sunday, January 20, 2019 | ePaper

No country can unilaterally and lawfully push their people into another country

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Myanmar government leader Aung San Suu Kyi will not attend the U.N. General Assembly in New York next week, media reported on Wednesday, amid growing calls for Myanmar's security forces to be held accountable for alleged crimes against Rohingya Muslims, as per international media reports.

Instead, two senior ministers in her government, Kyaw Tint Swe and Kyaw Tin - both seasoned diplomats who in the past defended Myanmar's former military regime on the global stage - would attend and "explain current developments on repatriation and cooperation with international organizations", the official, permanent secretary Myint Thu, was paraphrased as saying.

This is the second time Suu Kyi has skipped the UN General Assembly in as many years -- she did the same last year as the violence spread. It has become a habit of her's to skip any accounting of her responsibilty towards the Rohingyas. News agencies like Al Jazeera have been talking about the genocidal intent of the Myanmar military for years but it has been recently voiced that the UN has decided the action of the army  indicate genocidal intent.

Now that the cat is out of the bag -- what is there for Suu Kyi to do? The decent thing would obviously be to offer an unconditional apology to the Rohingyas for the years of mistreatment and abuse which they have suffered under successive military governments, and also, at least nominally, her government. But this is extremely unlikely to happen as it would not resonate well with her political base --  the Bamars, who are the majority in today's Myanmar , and an ethnic group to which she belongs.

The problem is that she has transitioned from being politician has become opportunist.

To hold hands on power even it means nominal, she has proved herself cruel and ambitious and did not hesitate to leave her husband and son. By not going to attend UN General Assembly session she has shown some sense of shame.

Even though Myanmar has recently agreed to let the UN visit Rakhine, she still had the audacity to castigate Bangladesh for not being fast enough in repatriating the Rohingyas -- as if we were magically holding them back by promising them milk and honey. Myanmar allowed the UN only after it accused them of genocide  -- so it seems that playing a carrot and stick game with the regime may work -- threaten them with sanctions, and they will all toe the line. The prospect of a current senior Myanmar official arrested in an international airport for crimes against humanity remains the best way to tackle this regime. No one wants to go to such trouble for the Rohingya.

We shall blame our government for not showing strength from the beginning and say that Myanmar cannot impose its people on us unilaterally claiming that they are Bangladeshis. In no legal sense these people can be called our people. These Rohingyas were living in Myanmar long before Bangladesh was born.

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