See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

10 US senators criticise Suu Kyi for representing military’s interest

Suu Kyi is in the Hague defending Myanmar from genocide accusations.


Written by

Updated: December 13, 2019

Ten US Senators have severely criticized Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi for representing the military’s interest before the International Court of Justice and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingyas and other ethnic minorities.

“Representing the Burmese military’s interest before The Hague and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities would undermine what remaining credibility you have before the international community, including in the US Congress,” said a letter to Suu Kyi issued on December 9.

The Senators said a defense of the Burmese military at this high-profile international forum is also an affront to the inclusive, multi-cultural and democratic Burma that she claims to champion.

They said when Buddhist nationalism is on the rise in Myanmar, shielding military’s criminal acts sends a signal that Suu Kyi stands alongside human rights violators.

On December 10, the International Court of Justice (ICJ)at The Hague began a three-day hearing of the case that The Gambia filed on November 11, accusing Myanmar of genocide against the Rohingya.

At the ICJ, Suu Kyi denied that the Myanmar military committed genocide, arguing that the crackdown was a response to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacks on the police posts in Rakhine and that it was merely an internal conflict.

The Gambia made strong arguments to prove that Myanmar committed genocide and that it is ongoing and sought provisional measures to protect the Rohingya in Rakhine state.

Myanmar’s handling of brutal “clearance operations” that killed thousands and caused more than 740,000 Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh since August 2017 is inexcusable, said the 10 US Senators.

They said while it is ultimately up to the court to determine the criminal accountability, evidence of crimes committed by the Burmese military is overwhelming.

“We are also concerned about the estimated 600,000 Rohigya who remain in Burma, whose living conditions have worsened. They continue to face persecution and are at risk of genocide,” the letter said.

The Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar makes it clear that Myanmar government incurs “state responsibility” under the prohibition against genocide and crimes against humanity, which will be important for the ICJ to consider.

“We urge you to fully cooperate with the ICJ. This should include moving forward with any provisional actions that might be recommended or discussed at the ICJ.

“Your government must also provide complete and unfettered access throughout the county to the UN Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar so that they may investigate all allegations of crimes under international law and other human rights violations and abuses.”

They said they stand ready to support Myanmar if Suu Kyi chooses to take the crucial moment on the international stage to defend the human rights of the Rohingyas and other ethnic minorities in Burma.

“However, a failure to do so means we will continue to use instruments of US diplomatic power to bring the Burmese military to account for the injustices committed. A democratic and rights-respecting, inclusive Burma is the only successful path forward,” the US Senators said.

The Senators include Marsha Blackburn, Richard J Durbin, Todd Young, Tammy Baldwin, Brian Schatz, Jeffrey A Merkley, Chris Van Hollen, Robert P Casey Jr, Benjamin L Cardin and Ron Wyden.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Daily Star
About the Author: The Daily Star is a leading English-language daily newspaper in Bangladesh.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy

New coronavirus cases rise to 571 in Chinese mainland

China’s National Health Commission said cases of the new coronavirus pneumonia disease rose to 571 on the Chinese mainland as of Wednesday midnight, including 95 in critical condition, and fatalities rose to 17,  on Thursday morning. Latest on pneumonia epidemic: Cases of the new coronavirus pneumonia disease rose to 571 on the Chinese mainland as of Wednesday midnight, including 95 in critical condition, and fatalities rose to 17, China’s National Health Commission said on Thursday morning. In addition, 393 suspected cases were reported as of Wednesday midnight. All the reported deaths were in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak. Outside the mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan each confirmed one case.


By China Daily
January 23, 2020

Diplomacy

Strictest measures enacted to contain viral pneumonia in China

As the pathogen continues to spread, the strictest prevention and control measures are being adopted by the Chinese health authorities for the new strain of coronavirus that has caused a pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan. Chinese health authorities are adopting the strictest prevention and control measures for the new strain of coronavirus that has caused a pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei province, as the pathogen continues to spread. On Monday, 77 new confirmed cases of the virus — 2019-nCoV — were reported on the Chinese mainland, bringing the total number of confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland to 291, six of whom died, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday afternoon. Among the new cases, 72 were reported in Hubei province, two in Shanghai a


By China Daily
January 22, 2020

Diplomacy

Wuhan virus: China confirms human-to-human transmission, says medical workers infected

China’s health commission said on Monday (Jan 20)  that medical workers have been infected by the deadly coronavirus first discovered in the central city of Wuhan, confirming it can be transmitted between people. “The current situation is that it is no longer animal to human transmission, but human to human,” said Chinese pulmonologist Zhong Nanshan, who discovered the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) coronavirus in 2003 and now heads an expert panel under the health commission. He cited a case in Guangdong, where the patient had not been to Wuhan but caught the virus from a family member. Dr Zhong also said 14 medical personnel helping with coronavirus patients have been infected by one carrier. “The key to controlling the spread o


By The Straits Times
January 21, 2020

Diplomacy

Trump invites Asean leaders, including Duterte, to summit in US

Donald Trump, the US President has invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and 11 other leaders of the Asean to a summit to be held in Las Vegas in March. US President Donald Trump has invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and 11 other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to a summit to be held in Las Vegas in March. “The invitation was first conveyed during the Asean-US meeting at the Asean Summit and related summits in Bangkok last November. The United States then reiterated its invitation through a letter dated Jan. 9, 2020,”the Palace said. The Palace also released a copy of Trump’s letter to the Asean leaders dated Nov. 1, given during last year’s Asean summit in Bangkok. “I would also like


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 20, 2020

Diplomacy

North Korea beefs up self-defense capabilities in military reorganization

The North have been making many changes ahead of talks. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over a meeting of the top military decision-making body to accelerate the development of self-defense capabilities ahead of key events that will decide its national strategy, its state media reported Sunday. Discussions on ways to bolster its military capabilities through organizational restructuring and personnel reshuffle were highlighted during the third expanded meeting of the seventh central military commission of the ruling Workers’ Party. Details on what measures were discussed were not disclosed. “At the meeting, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un


By The Korea Herald
December 23, 2019

Diplomacy

Modi defends citizenship decision

PM Modi says it has nothing to do with Indian Muslims. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, that unity in diversity is integral to India while addressing ‘Aabhar Rally’ at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan today to kick start Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi Assembly Elections campaign slated for early next year, amid protests in Delhi and all over the country against the contentious Citizenship Act and the National Register of Citizenship(NRC). Modi raised slogan of ‘vividhta me ekta, Bharat ki visheshta’ (Unity in diversity is India’s speciality). PM Modi while giving his party and government’s view on CAA and NRC said, “Muslims being misled, I have always ensured that documents will never come in way of development schemes and their beneficiaries.” Citizenship law and NRC have nothing to do with Indian Muslims or with Indian citizens, he clarified. “We have never asked


By The Statesman
December 23, 2019