Burma Times Correspondent: September 16, 2015
Noted Indian columnist S.N.M Abdi expressed hope that opposition leader Aung Saan Suu Kyi will stand by the Rohingyas if her party NLD won power in this year’s crucial election.
Under a column in the Arab News titled ‘Suu Kyi best hope for Rohingyas,’ Abdi wrote he has a vested interest in supporting the opposition leader as he hoped she would gradually take sides against the oppressors in what is one of the worst episodes of ethnic cleansing in the modern era.
Abdi quoted the Nobel Peace Prize Committee’s arguments that Suu Kyi was awarded the prestigious prize “for her unflagging efforts and to show its support for the many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means.”
Suu Kyi, an icon for human rights and democracy has drawn flak for avoiding the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims. The Nobel peace prize laurate was extremely popular among the Muslim community but that changed almost overnight when she shied away from condemning anti Muslim pogroms in 2012.
Abdi recognised that Suu Kyi would not be able to help the Rohingyas right away because that would alienate the majority community. He however said that “without her, Rohingyas are doomed to statelessness, unless of course Myanmar’s ASEAN neighbors like Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia fully backed by the US step in and knock some sense into Buddhist heads before it’s too late.”
In the Arab News article, Abdi also suggested the Myanmar opposition leader to follow the example of Sonia Gandhi in India and appoint a loyalist to the supreme position to represent her.