“I think she’s genuinely strong. And you know even if she’s sad at something, she knows she’s got to get on with things. She’s not going to waste time crying about it,” says Kim Aris, Aung San Suu Kyi’s son in an interview with the BBC.
After fifteen years detained under house arrest, Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi are now free and fit to have a run in the next Burma General Election.
Succeeding her father Aung San fight, Suu Kyi’s hope is to bring her beloved country to a much liberal nation. Representing the National League for Democracy (NLD) Suu Kyi are now all out to hold the post of Burma number one leader.
Even the world now has turned their attention towards Suu Kyi’s release in hope for the best outcome for the Burma. One question comes to mind, is the attention given is because of pure humanity or is it just a trade opener for certain countries?
Aung San Suu Kyi’s reputation is very much respected throughout the world. This is because of a series of incidents that she faced that make her so strong in the eyes of world’s great leaders. She even won the Noble Peace Price in 1991 to honor her effort in the battle for freedom in Burma.
Even Barack Obama, President of the United States has made a long trip to Rangoon to meet the lady that he labelled as a democracy icon and even vowed that the U.S. will support Burma if it continues with reforms that have ramped up dramatically in the past year and a half.
Burma is a great country with a population of 5.5 million and rich in natural resources such as petroleum, timber, natural gas and many more. Now what makes Suu Kyi and her battle seems so important to many great politicians? Question that comes to mind is weather many politicians are just waiting to have an open trade with Burma as soon as Suu Kyi come into power.
Looking at the bright sight, an open trade will offer many Burmese job opportunities and provide a better living environment. It will also boost Burma’s economy and hopefully it will transform Burma into a better nation.
Suu Kyi’s release was an exhilarating news, but the euphoria must have its limit, observers must not look at Suu Kyi personal agenda but must have concern pertaining issues of the Burmese people.
Her first political trip out of Rangoon since her release from house arrest November 2012 was when she visited Bago, about 80km (50 miles) north of Burma’s main city. Since then, her schedule is packed with political campaigns all around Burma and the rest of the world.
Suu Kyi’s active involvement in politics has been met with a lot of praises but her concern towards the Rohingya conflict is very much questioned by many watchdogs. The Rohingya conflict is a conflict happened in the Rakhine state, western coast of Burma where the ongoing racial conflicts primarily between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims. This sort of ethnic cleansing can be considered as a serious issue not only in Burma, but throughout the world.
The Rohingya conflict is a serious conflict that the world should resolve, instead public seems to be blurred on what really happened. The Rohingya people are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group from the state of Rakhine in Burma. The Rohingya’s are ethno-linguistically related to the Indo-Aryan peoples of India and Bangladesh. The region of Rakhine was annexed and occupied by Myanmar in the 1700s, thus bringing the Rohingya people under Burmese government. According to the United Nations, they are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
Targeted as a result of their religion and race, the Rohingyas suffer oppressive level of discrimination in the face of the Rakhine Buddhist majority. Land confiscation, forced labor, and denial of the very basic human rights are characteristics of everyday reality for the Rohingya people. Survivors are desperately trying to escape prosecution and seeking refuge in neighboring councrties such as Thailand and Malaysia. They are forced to make a choice either return to death in Burma or die trying to escape in the open sea.
On 10 June 2012, a state of emergency was declared in Rakhine, allowing military to participate in administration of the region. As of 22 August 2012, officially there had been 88 casualties where 57 of them are Muslims and 31 Buddhists.
While the government’s response was praised by the United States and European Union, Amnesty International and other human rights groups were critical about this issue especially towards Suu Kyi’s reaction towards this issue.
Many criticize Suu Kyi because she tend to reserve her comments about this issue on the Rohingya’s. She tends not to have an interest to make an effort in solving the fiasco thus it has scratched her huge reputation as a democratic icon.
Critics said she needs to be realistic on what she wants to achieve, in the end, it is up to the mood of the public to weather vote or not for her. Some also said that she practically does not have a great deal of first hand personal knowledge about what happened in Rakhine. This scenario happens because she is not there in the past to play a big role and engage in discussions with the people to find out what happened and what could be fixed there.
Suu Kyi’s characteristics is that she has a clear sense of her role in politics and how she structured her plan in achieving its goal. To put it simply, she knows what she is doing. Aung San Suu Kyi had once told an Indian news channel that the violence was a “huge international tragedy.” She said she had not spoken on behalf of Rohingya Muslims because she wanted to promote reconciliation between the Buddhist and Muslim communities.
She also said “But don’t forget that violence has been committed by both sides. This is why I prefer not to take sides. And, also I want to work toward reconciliation between these two communities. I am not going to be able to do that if I take sides,” she said.
While many are in a state of shock to listen to her comments as it resembles that she would not interfere with this issue, one is confident that she has her own agenda in resolving the conflict.
Aung San Suu Kyi can be considered as a populist politician thus she must have the consent of Buddhist majority in Burma where they mostly disapprove the existence of the Rohingyas in Burma. Is this Suu Kyi’s tactics in winning the people’s heart, or does she simply rejects Rohingyas as Burmese citizens.
Yes it’s a cruel world, one must remain silent to achieve what they strive for, and a damage must be done to have the absolute pleasure, it even takes an atomic bomb to end World War II. In Suu Kyi’s case, she needed to hibernate for a while and many people will suffer but as soon as she hold the highest Burmese post, hopefully she will do something to end the madness.
If Suu Kyi still keeps herself in the closet after winning the election, her reputation should be questioned, and she did not deserve to be labelled as a democracy icon. Like it or hate it, the Rohingyas are humans too, they should be treated equally and granted human rights.
Since the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese have something to look forward to in terms of freedom and liberty. Many Burmese want to improve the living standards in Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi is considered as the one who can bring those changes.
The world also look Suu Kyi as a person who is strong and capable in bringing changes towards the fate of the Burmese people. Thus, it is seen as a huge responsibility for Suu Kyi need to earn the trust of the people.
A fighting peacock in the NLD represents being bold, kind, strong and beautiful. All that representation also can be seen on Aung San Suu Kyi traits, the lovable figure should repay people’s trust and strive for the betterment. Suu Kyi is strong when she faced many mishaps, let’s just hope that she also will be just as strong as she are then when fighting for the people’s right. A diamond in the rough is what Suu Kyi are, her characteristics should be an exemplar for many leaders nowadays.