Current state counselor and de facto leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi founded Myanmar’s League of Democracy in the 1980s openly opposing the country’s leader, General Ne Win. She criticized the General’s harsh military rule and isolationist policies that made Myanmar one of the poorest countries in the world. She promised to work towards nonviolent efforts to promote democracy and human rights in the country. She won the presidency in 1989 and was placed on house arrest by the Burmese military who was unwilling to lose control of the government. On and off for two decades, she remained under house arrest. refusing to leave Myanmar under military control without democracy. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her commitment to human rights. When she was placed into government out of house arrest, she did not address the state of Rahkine or the Rohingya facing discrimination. For years she remained silent on issues between law enforcement and the Rohingya.
International Responses to Silence
As the de facto democratic leader of Myanmar and as a renowned advocate for human rights, you have a particular moral and political obligation to speak out against this appalling cruelty, and to do whatever is in your power to stop itCandian President Trudeau writes to Aung San Suu Kyi in an open letter on Septemeber 17, 2017
Over the last several years, I have repeatedly condemned this tragic and shameful treatment. I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same. The world is waiting and the Rohingya Muslims are waiting.Malala Yousafzai asking Aung San Suu Kyi to take action to help the Rohingya.
Suu Kyi Finally Speaks
On September 19, 2017, Myanmar’s de facto leader speaks nationally in response to violence in Myanmar but refuses to acknowledge how the Rohingya are being targetted by Buddhists and military members.
In a later interview, she goes into further detail denying the extremity of the torture and killings in Rakhine State, trying to steer the conversation away from the Rohingya Muslims.