What the media did not tell you about Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi

Submitted by Begedil

We read the narratives in the news and have seen the pictures on TVs and broadsheets.

The oppression of the Rohingyas. The ‘state-sponsored genocide’. The refugee crisis.



At the heart of this narrative is Ms Aung San Sun Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, who was placed under house arrest for close to 15 years over a 20 year period under Burma’s junta rule and currently Myanmar’s State Counsellor (similar to Prime Minister).


This is Ms Suu Kyi’s first visit to Singapore since assuming the post of state counselor in April this year, in the new civilian government (same to the post of PM in Singapore) that came to power last November.

She was last here in September 2013 when she was leader of Myanmar’s opposition and head of the committee on rule of law, peace and tranquillity of Myanmar’s Lower House of Parliament.

Wherever she went, journalists and human rights activist hounded her about the state of the Rohingyas in her country. Her inaction and silence over crisis prompted people to blame her for the worsening situation for these people.

They said she is a Nobel prize winner and she must do more.

I think, Singaporeans must understand the region a bit more before jumping onto the bandwagon

1 – The Rohingyas have been oppressed for the longest time (even before Ms Suu Kyi took power) and their region is one of the most ethically polarised region in the world. They even organised a separatist movement to merge the region into Pakistan in the 1940s


(Rohingya Mujahidin fighters, Source: Wikipedia)

2 – In 1982, the junta government enacted the Burmese nationality law, which denied Rohingya citizenship, thus, annexing them further.


Singaporeans reading the refugee crisis cannot apply our standards of peace and multi-racial harmony to other countries and chastise their leaders if they fail to achieve it.

The reality is complex. Myanmar is much much bigger than Singapore. There were under junta rule (Singaporeans have no idea what this feels like). Their brand of Buddhism and Islam is way different from ours.

We empathise with their suffering and demands it to end. But do we understand the politics that shaped them?


Who was the one who put Ms Aung into power? It’s the United Nations, the Americans and the Europeans. The very same leaders who glorified her in the past are the ones using their mouth pieces now to criticise her and put her on the stake.

You want to help the Rohingyas? Pray for them. Go to Rohingya and provide aid. Help out in their refugee centers (plenty of them in Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, etc).

Martin Luther King said that for us to have world peace, our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class and our nation.

Do you believe in world peace or just the guise of it?