As we launch a new site and new blog, it’s appropriate that we start with the issue that is on the minds of everyone who works in human rights or who works with the Nobel laureates — the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Burma (Myanmar) and the failure to act on the part of Nobel Peace Prize laureates Aung San Suu Kyi.
Jack Healy is the former Executive Director of Amnesty International. Over the many years when Aung San Suu Kyi was under house arrest by the military junta in prison, he was her strongest public advocate, putting together among other things the “Burma It Can’t Wait” campaign which seemed to have brought half of Hollywood to her side. He spoke for many when he spoke in a recent article in Huff Post about being broken hearted.
Archbishop Tutu had told me some months back that the last time he left Burma, after meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, he had left “with a heavy heart.”
When Malala tweeted about the situation a two weeks ago, on September 2, she also spoke of her heart breaking:
There is no question that Suu Kyi inherited a daunting task when she was released and became the de facto leader of Burma. There are many who have given her the benefit of the doubt, and tried to put her silence in the context of trying to lead a country where her power is partial, and offset by a military who has not yet given up the reins. For many, that changed with her own statements, including calling the Rohingya “terrorists,” referring to “fake rape” and even laughing at and ridiculing their “stories.”
But they are not stories. They are events, documented by objective eyewitnesses, credible UN leaders and satellite photos of entire villages razed.
I will continue to post the words of the laureates on the horrific plight of the Rohingya people, while we wait for Daw Suu to act.