Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
47 views
47 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
60 views
60 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
55 views
55 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
88 views
88 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
32 views
32 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018
251 Views

Why Aung San Suu Kyi has been silent on the Rohingya Crisis

Since an attack on a police checkpoint which left 9 people dead in October last year, the Burmese (Myanmar) military has begun a counter-terrorism operation in the western state of Rakhine. This is, however, an overly simplistic summary of the current situation in Burma – though you wouldn’t know any better going by the government’s account.

In reality, this counter-insurgency operation is the pretext for another systematic persecution against the Muslim minority Rohingya population. Deprived of citizenship and access to basic facilities by a government that denies their right to exist, the Rohingya are currently the subjects of one of the least-covered humanitarian crises of the world today. There are countless reports of widespread, indiscriminate killings as a form of collective punishment for the attack in October. Many women have reportedly been raped and villages and mosques burned to the ground in what the UN says is likely to amount to ethnic cleansing, and potentially genocide.

Despair, however, gives way to disbelief when confronted with the fact that Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate and the first democratically elected de facto president of Burma for 50 years, has been deathly silent on the potential international crimes being committed in her country. How can one of the world’s most celebrated democracy and human rights activists ignore such atrocities?

Naturally, there is the question as to whether within the silence there is an implicit endorsement. National empathy for the Rohingya is, after all, severely lacking in a country that generally regards them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, despite their having lived in Burma for generations. This suspicion was exploited alongside a rise in Buddhist nationalism and extremism under the military regime for decades.

Perhaps the biggest evidence for this can be found in her actions. While she holds no control over the military or the police, she can influence government policy and the state-owned press, which have been largely in denial over the crisis and have exploited the journalist ban in Rakhine state to denounce the claims of rape and killings of the Rohingya, asserting additionally that they burned their own villages and mosques. The government did, however, acknowledge the undeniable evidence of beatings filmed and committed by members of the police, which could signal a change in the government’s dealing with the crisis.  

The alternative (and in my opinion more probable) explanation for Suu Kyi’s silence is that it is an exercise in pragmatism. Asserting that her silence is an implicit condonation ignores the extraordinary context surrounding her position.

Burmese democracy is in it’s infancy. The country was, for decades, under the control of a repressive military junta until her eventual election in 2016. She now inherits a country that has limited democratic control; 25% of the seats in parliament are retained by the military and she is officially barred from office by the constitution drawn up under the military regime. Consequently, any position she takes will be limited due to the fact that she has no control over the army and police.

Furthermore, her success rides primarily upon a strong wave of anti-military sentiment. However, as previously mentioned, the Buddhist majority population does share the military’s attitude towards the Rohingya, which is problematic as she has consistently relied upon Buddhism as a vehicle for achieving democracy. To speak up for the Rohingya, then, could translate into her losing some of her support, which could be exploited by the military to compromise the country’s progress towards democracy. This is especially important not only for Burma as a whole, but so too for the Rohingya as their biggest remedy lies in democratic representation.

Though disappointing, pragmatism seems to be the best explanation for Suu Kyi’s silence. Her domestic situation is extremely complicated and risks compromising the democratic transition. It is combined with the likely easing of American diplomatic pressure under the Trump administration’s relative apathy towards international affairs and general contempt for Muslims.

We should remember, too, that there are few in Burma who can empathise as much as Suu Kyi with those subjugated by the military – She was held under house arrest for 15 years for resisting the military junta, sacrificing her family life and tragically missed the passing of her husband in Britain. Why this issue has gained so little media coverage is as yet a mystery.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
47 views
47 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
60 views
60 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
55 views
55 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
88 views
88 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
32 views
32 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
47 views
Arts
47 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
50 views
Film & Theatre
50 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Anonymous - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
60 views
Sports
60 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
55 views
Arts
55 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
88 views
Arts
88 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1145 views1
Campus News
1145 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
32 views
News
32 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018

The University of Sussex Students' Union (USSU) has apologised after 'sexist' beermats were found in Dig-In Boxes in Freshers' Welcome Bags. The beermats were provided by Brush…

Sussex Lecturer Accused of Making Transphobic Comments Ahead of Brighton Trans Pride 2018
News
92 views1
News
92 views1

Sussex Lecturer Accused of Making Transphobic Comments Ahead of Brighton Trans Pride 2018

Jessica Hubbard - September 15, 2018

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy Lecturer at Sussex, was accused of making transphobic comments in July 2018. This followed various interviews and blog posts by Stock. Stock told…

Welcome 2018 Freshers!
Campus News
94 views
Campus News
94 views

Welcome 2018 Freshers!

Billie-Jean Johnson - September 15, 2018

Ah, Freshers. You’ve no idea the amazing year you have ahead of you! As you read this now, you’ve probably met your flatmates and maybe even met…

A conversation with Kathleen Stock on Transgender Identity
Opinion
96 views
Opinion
96 views

A conversation with Kathleen Stock on Transgender Identity

Jessica Hubbard - September 15, 2018

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy lecturer at Sussex University, met with controversy after criticising the government’s reform of the Gender Recognition Act (2004). The amendment would ‘de-medicalise’ the…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
400 views
Arts
400 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
403 views
Arts
403 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
375 views
Arts
375 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
435 views
Arts
435 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
449 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
394 views
Arts
394 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
368 views
Arts
368 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
563 views
Campus News
563 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
316 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
926 views
Arts
926 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
376 views
Arts
376 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…