Myanmar Rohingya: Suu Kyi to defend genocide charge at UN court

Ns News Online DeskNs News Online Desk: She was once seen as a beacon for universal human rights – a principled activist willing to give up her freedom to stand up to the ruthless generals who ruled Myanmar for decades.

In 1991, “The Lady”, as Aung San Suu Kyi is known, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and the committee chairman called her “an outstanding example of the power of the powerless”.

But since becoming Myanmar’s de facto leader in 2016 after a democratic opening up, Ms Suu Kyi has been rounded on by the same international leaders and activists who once supported her. Outraged by the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar into neighbouring Bangladesh due to an army crackdown, they have accused her of doing nothing to stop rape, murder and possible genocide by refusing to condemn the powerful military or acknowledge accounts of atrocities.

Her few remaining international supporters counter that she is a pragmatic politician trying to govern a multi-ethnic country with a complex history and a Buddhist majority that holds little sympathy for the Rohingya.

They also point out the military still retains serious political power and will not relinquish control of the security forces. But critics say she has lost moral standing – and certainly her towering reputation as someone willing to stand up for human rights despite the personal cost.

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