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Fact check Suu Kyi’s claims at the ICJ

  • Published at 03:06 am December 12th, 2019
Aung San Suu Kyi
File photo of Aung San Suu Kyi AFP

Suu Kui has spoken in favour of the Myanmar army over allegation of genocide

For the past few years the Rohingya issue have intensified.

The international community also expressed concerned over the genocide which is taking place in the Northern Rakhine.

Over 700,000 Rohingya took shelter in Bangladesh in August 2017 after the Myanmar army cracked down heavily on them, killing its men, children and raped countless number of women.

Bangladesh has told Myanmar to take back their citizens. Both the counties are in negotiation about the Rohingya repatriation currently.

The international community also praised Bangladesh for sheltering, giving food, heath care services and education to over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar Bangladesh.

In the midst of all this The Gambia sued Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, for the genocide of Rohingya people.

A three-day hearing of the case started on Tuesday, where Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi declined the allegation of the genocide andc term it as “civil war”.

According to a report published in The Guardian, Suu Kyi while speaking on the second day of the hearing (Wednesday) said It is not a genocide, rather a result of civil war in the Northern Rakhine state in Myanmar.

Though she may have given her best defence during her 20-minute address at the ICJ, but all of it were the same thing she has been saying over the years.

She said there was violence in Rakhine state which caused more than 700,000 Rohingya people to flee to the neighbouring country Bangladesh in August 2017.

But denying the facts published in the international media, she said it happened because armed groups attacked the Myanmar army and it is not the Myanmar army’s intension of erase the Rohingya from their place of birth.

She challenged the ICJ that the Myanmar army’s response was not to carry out a genocide or to destroy the Rohingya community at all.

She advocated in favour of the Myanmar army and said special inquiry has been going on to investigate the matter and some soldiers responsible have been jailed already.

She told the court that Myanmar has been in negotiation with Bangladesh for the safe and dignified return of the Rohnigyas. Then she asked how it can ben genocidal if Myanmar is trying to bring them (The Rohnigyas) back to the Northern Rakhine state.

Suu Kyi continued saying that Myanmar is still criticized by other countries in the world irrespective of taking a lot of measures to bring the situation in control.

Only a number of Rohingyas returned to Rakhine recently, as the Rohingya leaders in Bangladesh said still there is no assurance of their safety and dignity if they go back now.

Suu Kyi wants to put the genocide of Rohingyas as fighting between the Myanmar military and armed militia groups such as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.

She said it is not a part of a genocide but a desperate civil war in which civilians were being harmed, as well.

Rohingya community in Rakhine do not have the rights of citizenship, to study, worker travel and many Rohingya people’s property had been taken away from them.

While replying about the early release of 7 Myanmar military men who were sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing 10 Muslim men, she blamed the inadequacy of the court system of her country.

She said many including herself were not happy with the pardoning of the seven army men.

The same justice system jailed two Reuters journalists for more than one and a half year for exposing killing by the Myanmar army.

The Myanmar judiciary have been in question for decades regarding its independence.

The Myanmar state counsellor confirmed that a special investigation called international commission of enquiry (ICOE) was established in May 2018.

Meanwhile the International Commission for Jurists and an UN investigation said the ICOE cannot be seen as an impartial body.

However, Suu Kyi said the ICOE has conducted extensive investigation regarding the events in   Rakhine.

Also, her government till date has denied access to international investigators in the region. 

Suu Kyi further pointed out that the internally displaced people, including the Rohingya, in Rakhine had returned to their permanent residents and the camps where they were living were being closed.

But the UN had declared that it would start to restrict its funding of the resident, as it fears the international community was unknowingly helping to entrench a “policy of apartheid” in Myanmar, as the residents have too much restriction imposed on them.

She urged the court   to keep in mind about the complex situation and Myanmar’s sovereignty and security before coming to a conclusion.

She also said under the scenation, genocidal cannot be rthe only “hypothesis.”

Over a number of decades, the marginalized Rohingya community have been slurred as invading “Bengalis”

The Rogingya people in Rakhine are banned from leaving their villages without permission. They are not allowed to attend universities. Even access to health services are restriced for them.

The most disturbing thing is that the Myanmar government do recognize the ethnic status of the Rohingyas.

However, Suu Kyi did not anythnig say about this ongoing, systematic discrimination.


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