Open letter to Aung San
image via flickr

(An open letter to Aung San, Myanmar’s de facto ruler, to remind she once got a Nobel Peace Prize decades before the Rohingya crisis)

Dear Aung San Suu Kyi,

Why I am writing this letter to you is because I am a huge fan of democracy and human rights, and you’re the symbol of both. At least Nobel Peace Committee thought it so when it gave you the world’s most coveted prize for peace. And why not. In a country with undemocratic and authoritarian legacy, you championed the cause of people’s rights in Myanmar. For that, although you were rewarded, you had to pay a heavy price in the following decades as you remained incarcerated by your country’s military junta. But don’t you think the Nobel Committee, which certified you as a peace ambassador, would be worried about its decision lately? Since the crisis your country has been witnessing is the worst of its kind and the more unfortunate is the fact that you’re no more a helpless prisoner as you had been before 2015. Rather, you’re  one of the most powerful persons in the country where a genocide is taking place, leading the UN to describe the Myanmar’s authorities’ treatment of the persecuted Rohingya community as the “textbook example” of ethnic cleansing. But it seems you’re not that person who received the Peace award if it is not the reverse case of Saul to Paul.

Does all this catastrophe- that caused massive human displacement, killings, rapes, extra-judicial murders that took place with the direct help of the state action whose de facto ruler is a Nobel Peace laureate- make sense? Doesn’t your silence, as if your lips were glued to each other, make you an accomplice to this genocide of a helpless community that has been living in your country for centuries and yet denied of any citizenship rights? On the contrary, you spoke more frequently on behalf of the aggressors with apologetic responses to the state-led persecution.
And now your visit to Europe, in a bid to meet with the leader who is known for his mediocrity by the European standards. A man who’s dismissed as undemocratic, nay autocrat, by the democratic Europe. What  is your purpose of the meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister? Is it about some mutual trade deal or increased economic ties between Myanmar and Hungary? No. It is about the growing Islamophobia that you share with Viktor Orban.

Although you and your new friend both used the migration issue that became the concern for your countries, it was more like a euphemism for your fear and disapproval of increased Muslim population in your countries. And Vox did not mince words when it translated your joint statement with the Hungarian PM as, “We either want to keep Muslims away from us or kill them.” How is your agreement with Viktor Orban justified that migration poses one of the greatest challenges of your countries, since you already believed (and have acted) in driving them away instead of allowing them into your country? Doesn’t your recent trip to Europe further stigmatize your name as the champion for democracy and human rights?

Before concluding this letter, I want to ask you if you still consider yourself worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize after the massacre and displacement of hundreds of thousands Rohingya Muslims, whose minority population is still insignificant compared to the general population of Myanmar; and yet it is a ‘threat’ for you? And that’s what it feels like getting the Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience award revoked? You have also been stripped of the status of freedom in the cities of Dublin, Oxford and London. Why have you turned your back on humanity, discouraging those who have worked for peace in the hope of  Nobel Peace Prize as their highest acknowledgment, which you have now soaked in the blood of innocent people? Why?

Sincerely,

A concerned world citizen, who by this open letter to Aung San, intends to awaken the conscience of the world’s towards Myanmar crisis.

Related: Open Letter to UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres on Kashmir