There have been disturbing reports emerging out of Myanmar recently about a new wave of attacks by government forces on the Rohingya, a Muslim minority considered one of the most persecuted groups in the world.
The Rohingya have been running for their lives, hoping to escape what they believe is certain death and risking it all to cross illegally from Myanmar to Bangladesh. As of today, nearly 150,000 Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh.
And thousands more are at the border waiting to cross, according to the United Nations and International Organization for Migration. The journey can be deadly. This week, 26 women and children drowned when their small boat capsized.
There have been reports of villages surrounded and homes burned to the ground as well as torture, executions and rape. Satellite images obtained by Human Rights Watch captured pictures of devastation. Yet, international aid to the region has recently been blocked by the government.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s new democratic Myanmar
That these events are unfolding in State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s new democratic Myanmar is all the more surprising. In 1991, she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her principled stand against tyranny.
Despite U.N. demands that Myanmar open its doors to an independent inquiry into human rights violations and possible ethnic cleansing, Suu Kyi has said she’ll deny access.
“I don’t think there is ethnic cleansing going on,” she told the BBC in an April interview. “I think ethnic cleansing is too strong an expression to use for what is happening. I think there is a lot of hostility there. It is Muslims killing Muslims as well. … It is not just a matter of ethnic cleansing, as you put it. It is a matter of people on different sides of the divide and this divide we are trying to close up as best as possible.”
Suu Kyi did not respond to an ABC News request for an interview. She did tell the BBC in the April interview she does not agree with her critics.
“They condemn me because I don’t say what they want me to say,” she said. “I will not condemn one group over another.”
“Sad news has reached us of the…