The Continuing Rohingya Crisis

For decades, the government of Myanmar has pursued discriminatory policies against the population of Rohingya Muslims located in the western portions of the country. The country is predominantly Buddhist, meaning that the general population seemingly has no empathy with those suffering from the military’s actions. 

Once heralded as a great humanitarian by some, Aung San Suu Kyi, the president of Myanmar, is now unanimously condemned as being apathetic to the plight of her citizens. Since 2015, the villages of the Rohingya have been burned and a great many of them have fled to Bangladesh to escape the persecution. While she is getting much of the flak for her country’s actions, much of the blame should be assigned to her generals who act with near impunity. It is possible that she feels some allegiance to them (other than the fact that there are from the same country) as their 2011 coup is  what removed the post of prime minister. This means that as president, Kyi is both the head of state as well as the head of government. This grants her enormous power. It is akin to a U.S.  president being both head of the executive branch as well as speaker of the house. The only political force more powerful than she is perhaps the military. 

Regardless, Kyi has a moral obligation to do her part to stop the suffering of the Rohingya Muslims. It is not as if she is powerless to stop the crisis from happening. She can either be called weak or complicit and honestly, perhaps both. 

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