US senators condemn Suu Kyi for defending Myanmar army's atrocities

Staff Correspondent . Dhaka | Update:

Myanmar`s leader Aung San Suu Kyi attends a hearing on the second day of hearings in a case filed by Gambia against Myanmar alleging genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya population, at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands 11 December, 2019. Photo: Reuters

A total of 10 US senators both from Republican and Democratic Party have condemned Myanmar state councillor Aung San Suu Kyi for defending Myanmar military’s atrocities against Rohingyas at the International Court of Justice.

The senators sent a letter to Suu Kyi on 9 December in this regard.

The letter, obtained from Republican senator Marsha Blackburn’s official website, read that defending atrocities before ICJ will seriously tarnish Su Kyi’s remaining image in international level.

The senators are Marsha Blackburn, Richard Durbin, Todd Young, Tammy Baldwin, Brian Schatz, Jeff Merkley, Chris Van Hollen, Bob Casey, Ben Cardin and Ron Wyden.

"Representing the Burmese military’s interest before The Hague and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities would undermine what remaining credibility you have before the international community, including in the US Congress," wrote the senators.

"A defence of the Burmese military at this high-profile international forum is also an affront to the inclusive, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and democratic Burma that you claim to champion," the letter added.

10 US senators condemn Suu Kyi’s defense. ScreenshotThe US senators also said Suu Kyi failed to handle the atrocities committed against Rohingya people. "Your handling of the brutal 2017 so-called 'clearance operations' - which killed thousands and caused more than 740,000 Rohingya to flee for their lives to Bangladesh - is inexcusable."

They urged Myanmar leader to cooperate with the ICJ. "We are urging Aung San Suu Kyi to instead fully cooperate with the ICJ, a move that would advance accountability and support the human rights of all people in Burma."

Expressing concern over the remaining Rohingya people in Myanmar, the senators said, "We are also concerned about the estimated 600,000 Rohingyas who remain in Burma, whose living conditions have worsened despite claims by your government to the contrary."

The remaining Rohingyas continue to face persecution and are at risk of genocide, the letter added.

The US senators also threatened Su Kyi to use their diplomatic power if the Myanmar authorities fail to defend the human rights of the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities in Burma.

"A failure to do so means we will continue to use instruments of US diplomatic power to bring the Burmese military to account for the injustices committed." 

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