Breakfast Forum

Aung San Suu Kyi

7 nov 2019 08:30 09:30 ENG

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate with Responsibility for Genocide?

Stein Tønnesson (PRIO)

Aung San Suu Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1991, has led the civilian part of Myanmar's government since 2016. Why did she not use her moral authority to challenge the military in 2017, when it forced 700 000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh? Why has she continued to defend her military rivals afterwards against UN accusations of genocide or crimes against humanity? And why has she done so little to improve the situation for the Rohingya who remain in Myanmar?

Is it because she fears public opinion? Because she owes respect to the military that her father, General Aung San, founded in his time? Because she hopes to get the military to accept a constitutional amendment allowing her to become president after the next elections? Or because she shares the view that most Rohingya are illegal immigrants who do not belong in Myanmar?

Stein Tønnesson, Asia researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).