The government of Myanmar has banned UN Rapporteur and investigator, Yanghee Lee from entering the Rakhine state of Myanmar, where the Rohingya Muslim minority have been facing persecution and severe forms of abuse from the military. Frustratingly, Ms Lee has been restricted from all access to the country and cooperation has been withdrawn between her and the Myanmar government for the duration of her tenure. This leaves the question as to what more devastating human rights violations are left to uncover in Myanmar?
If the rapes, beheadings and violence weren’t enough for world leaders to speak up, I would have hoped that the UN could have gone directly to Myanmar and hold the military and government accountable for their misdeeds through the law. However, this deliberate move to conceal evidence of the crimes committed by the Myanmar government proves that they are guilty of genocide and they cannot carry on denying it.
Some 655,000 Rohingya have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh since August 2017, with heart-breaking accounts of arson, murder and rape at the hands of the military soldiers and vigilante mobs.
Aung San Suu Kyi continually claims that there is ‘no genocide’ of the Rohingya Muslim minority, but refuses to let the UN investigate the many accounts of ethnic cleansing in the region, a fact that her supporters should reflect on. In addition, Aung San Suu Kyi has dismissed accounts of rape of the Rohingya women, speaking absolute nonsense that it is “fake rape” and all human rights violations that have taken place is “fake news”. For those who argue in support of this so called Nobel Prize Winner, she has actively defended the military’s actions, writing off eyewitness accounts and dismissing any involvement in the genocide that is taking place. In addition, she continues to prevent those who wish to further investigate and enter the Rakhine area to see the trauma for themselves which proves just how guilty she is.
“I am puzzled and disappointed by this decision by the Myanmar government,” said Lee, who is required to go to the country twice a year in order to report to the Human Rights Council and the U.N. General Assembly but is now being restricted.
Frankly, I find this move by the Myanmar government no surprise at all. A government who discriminates against a minority, denies them citizenship, pushes them out of the country and imposes severe forms of abuse, surely would not want to be held accountable or have any regard for being answerable to their atrocious actions.
The worst part about the whole tragedy of a whole community being displaced, murdered and running for their lives, is the lack of intervention from world leaders. Very few world leaders have spoken out against it enabling Myanmar to carry out their agenda of wiping out a community which they feel does not ‘belong’ or is part of their country.
Aung San Suu Kyi has failed on every level of knowing what it takes to be a real leader. She lacks compassion, understanding and has shown her true colours, if only the world would wake up and hold her and her government accountable.
Another reason why Aung San Suu Kyi has banned the UN from investigating further, may be due to the fact that the UN have asked pressing questions, on the significant role of the military in spearheading ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Rohingya. Much to the dislike of Aung San Suu Kyi who refrains from acknowledging allegations of genocide and often dismisses it. A few months ago, Ms Lee had sharply criticised the Myanmar government right’s record and its treatment of the Rohingya Muslim minority, to which the government in Myanmar responded by labelling her statement as “biased and unfair”. The Myanmar military continue to claim that they have done “nothing wrong” over the past months but are denying independent and impartial investigations in addition to restricting journalists by reprimanding them on baseless allegations to prevent the truth of the atrocities from coming out into the media.
The international community should now confront the tragedies that have surfaced in the face of humanity. We must work to urgently establish accountability and bring those responsible held to account by the law. I fear that without more intervention to help the Rohingya Muslim minority there may be more atrocities in the Rakhine state and the Rohingya will continue to suffer and be displaced from country to country. The Rohingya Muslim minority deserve justice and a chance to rebuild and rehabilitate their lives, which is why now more than ever we need to come together to press for more action to be taken and gain justice for those who have suffered harm and oppression from a disgraceful government.