Daily US Times, The Hague: Myanmar’s de-facto leader and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi defended genocide allegations against her country in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at Hague. She described the Rakhine situation as ‘complex’ and the news about Rohingya prosecution as ‘misleading’.
The Noble Peace Prize winner was unveiling her country’s stand in ICJ’s courtroom today.
Back in November 2017, Myanmar military started operation on Rakhine State, where the majority of inhabitants are Rohingya Muslim. The heavy crackdown forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee neighbouring Bangladesh for their safety. International community, human rights organizations and the UN body called this persecution as the ‘textbook example of genocide’.
West African small Muslim country Gambia on behalf of OIC member countries took the issue to the UN’s highest court ICJ alleging Myanmar violated the 1948 Genocide Convention.
Yesterday the Gambia presented the situation and facts in opening remarks. Today was Myanmar’s turn, and Suu Kyi denied the allegations made against her country and defended.
Aung San Suu Kyi said, ‘The Gambia has placed an incomplete and misleading picture of the factual situation in Rakhine state. ‘Genocidal intent” cannot be the only hypothesis in the case of Myanmar’.
She added, ‘Can there be genocidal intent on the part of the state that actively investigates, prosecutes and punishes soldiers and officers, who are accused of wrongdoing? Although the focus here is on members of the military, I can assure you that appropriate action will be taken on civilian offenders, in line with due process.’
Mrs Suu Kyi acknowledged the sufferings of the Rohingya Muslims though. She labelled the 2017 crackdown as ‘internal conflict’.
Aung San Suu Kyi was once celebrated all over the world for her fight for democracy and her country’s brutal military regime. She was considered a top human rights icon in the world. The military kept her in house arrest for 20 years. Her victory in the last general election gained lots of appreciation across the globe.
But when the Rakhine state crackdown happened and she did nothing to stop it. It shocked the international community. She received lots of criticism about her inaction to stop the genocide in the state. This considered her fall from grace.