I am unable to congratulate Aung Suu Kyi on her victory

Sami Hamdi Asia

I was once a fan of Aung Suu Kyi. She was a human rights hero under house arrest by a dictatorial regime.

She was released and the world celebrated. She needs no introduction. An inspiration to men and women alike and a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Aung Suu Kyi was a model for all aspiring human rights activists. She demonstrated that the fight was not idealistic or theoretical, but that the pursuit of justice and civil rights is something worth sacrificing for. The world was moved by her husband’s death in 1999 who had been desperate to say his last goodbyes to her as he fought cancer, having not seen his wife since 1995. Hers was a true struggle.

When the Rohingya issue began and tensions escalated rapidly between the Buddhist and Muslim communities, I expected her to intervene. I did not think that with such a noble history she would remain silent. Yet for her political goals, that is what she did.

What a shame. What a stain on her victory. I could be celebrating the defeat of the Junta rule today. For despite the ¼ of seats reserved for them in Parliament-essentially protecting some of their interests-this is a major blow to their long-established grip on power. But all I can see is a woman I once looked up to playing politics with the blood of my brothers and sisters.

I understand politics is complex. But all it takes for evil to spread is for good men and women to do nothing. And Aung Suu Kyi, you have done nothing.

But I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say you are perhaps weak-willed. That perhaps you condemn it in your heart; the weakest of faith. Perhaps you believe that once you are in power you may be able to do something…

All I say is that you are not the first to attempt that. And once you begin on the path of see no evil, hear no evil, it becomes more difficult to veer from it. And the price for doing so becomes greater the higher you climb up the ladder of power. So I will not hold my breath and believe you will try, or be able to, assist the Rohingya, my brothers and sisters in humanity. You walked the path of appeasement to get to where you are. And you will find no way to maintain your position without continuing on this path.

All I say to you is what my Lord says in his book. Perhaps in His words you may find some guidance:

‘O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.’ (Quran: 4 :135)

 

identicon

Sami Hamdi is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Interest. An experienced geopolitical risk consultant, Sami assists blue-chip clients around the world in monitoring and advising on highly volatile business environments.

Sami has extensive experience in the MENA region having been a television reporter and talk-show host for over 10 years. He has reported on key events in the region including the Arab Spring, the fall of Morsi in Egypt, the Houthi crisis in Yemen, as well as the battle of influences between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

In his freetime, Sami is a passionate and stubborn Arsenal fan, and loves travelling. Perhaps a bit too much…