Suu Kyi Says No Easy Answer to Sectarian Violence

Nobel laureate and Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi delivers a speech during her lecture session at the University of Tokyo on Wednesday. Suu Kyi is in Japan for a seven-day visit. (Photo: Reuters)

TOKYO—Burma’s charismatic opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi made rare comments on Wednesday on sectarian violence in her nation, but said she was “not a magician” and will not be able to solve long-running ethnic disputes.

Speaking to students at Tokyo University while on a visit to Japan, Suu Kyi maintained her stand that the rule of law needs to be established in Buddhist-majority Burma and parties involved in the violence have to build an atmosphere of dialogue.

She did not directly refer to recent monk-led violence in the city of Meikhtila that has killed 43 people. Thousands, mostly Muslims, were driven from their homes and businesses as bloodshed spread across central Burma, putting the Muslim minority on edge in one of Asia’s most diverse countries.

“I’ve said that the most important thing is to establish the rule of law… [it] is not just about the judiciary, it’s about the administration, it’s about the government, it’s about our police force, it’s about the training that we give to security forces,” said Suu Kyi.

She added that Burma’s courts do not meet democratic standards as they are “totally dominated by the executive.”

The failure of the Nobel Peace Prize-winner to defuse the tension undermines her image as a unifying moral force. Suu Kyi, herself a devout Buddhist, has previously said little on the violence.

“They wanted me to talk about how to make these communal differences disappear … I’m not a magician. If I were, I’d say ‘disappear’ and they would all disappear. Differences take a long time to sort out,” she told Japanese students.

“We have to establish an atmosphere of security in which people with different opinions can sit down and exchange ideas and think of the things we have in common.”


22 Responses to Suu Kyi Says No Easy Answer to Sectarian Violence

  1. My comment below will not relate to the current issue of Sectarian Violence but focus on how we as Burmese citizens and media should label Daw Suu when address her name and role. I sincerely believe that we should no longer title or honor Daw Suu as “Opposition Leader”. She is in Parliament and work with the current President Administration like many other MPs from different political parties. I don’t recall media address any other MPs as Opposition Leader when reporting about what a particular MP did or said, and I wonder why media still honor Daw Suu as Opposition Leader in the report. The title of “Opposition Leader” is such an honorable notation and Daw Suu no longer is in that role. She shall be address simply as MP Daw Suu like all other MP from different parties.

    Food for thought!

  2. Here DASSKyi should have at least comdemn these communal voilence. She is right what she has said. But at the moment she is powerless. Hope her vision and dreams come true.

  3. Applying the principles of Panglong Agreement would be a good start.

  4. DASSK, you need votes from Rakhine and Burmese people. Please do not touch the issue for Muslims from Burma. They are not popular.

  5. Oh dear! she is proving to be a bit of a lightweight.

  6. Come on Daw Aung San Su Kyi, follow the steps of your father Bogyoke Aung San and there won’t be any sectarian violence, during Bogyoke Aung San administration there was harmony among citizens and there was no sectarian violence.

  7. “They wanted me (DASSK) to talk about how to make these communal differences disappear … I’m not a magician. ”

    I totally agree with DASSK who said she is not a magician. That means she has no military power. All ethnics have military power so bama military thugs, than shwe tries to clean all ethnics. All ethnics will not be in than shwe’s private army anymore except some opportunistic and poor guys )

  8. “One people, one country based on humanity.” Is the way to go.

  9. Yes we know she is not megician.
    We need her to speak out .

  10. Some peoples are criticizing Daw Su for not doing enough for Rakhine communal riot and Meikhtila communal riot. Some peoples are went farther and denouncing Daw Su for cooperating with President U Thein Sein Government.
    Some peoples think opposition must be always opposed Government’s legislation and policy whether it was good for majority peoples Burma or not.
    At the moment Burma is just early stage of democracy reform and Government needs cooperation from citizen of Burma and as well as opposition parties.
    President U Thein Sein dose not set foot on wrong path yet since he has promised to change the direction of country toward democracy.
    Please, do not think everything will smooth and achieve without any difficulty when President taken democracy reform in Burma. He has enemy who oppose his democracy reform in within his party and also Military is do not taken order from him.
    We must recognize President U Thein Sein effort and his work for peoples of Burma. The country will not be here as today achievement without President U Thein Sein willingness to take responsible for country directing from dictatorship system to democratic reform.
    Also the democracy transition can not be done by President and his Cabinet alone. President U Thein Sein needs support from Citizen of Burma and Opposition parties as well.
    This is our rare first opportunity in more than half century.
    No one will want to lose this kind of opportunity in Burma. Unaccounted bloods were spilled on streets and numerous peoples were imprisoned by dictatorships. Only one thing can be stop such as horrific things our life is encouraging the Government to change the governing system in Burma.
    Now we have chanced for changing and we must take that opportunity seriously and helping to achieve what our Burmese peoples have been dreaming for more than half of century.
    That’s what NLD and other Opposition parties are doing and peoples of Burma are supporting bipartisan approaching policy of Daw Su inside Burma.
    Peoples of Burma are enough of spilling their blood and their love one blood in the street and tiring of living poorly in natural resource rich country.
    Opposition parties must be strongly opposed certain Government policy that will not benefit to majority of citizen and country.
    Also Opposition parties must support certain Government policy and legislation which is beneficial to majority of citizen and country.
    Daw Su is cooperation and consulting with President U Thein Sein Government for sake of peoples of Burma and country future. It does not mean she was acting for Government.
    Obviously we all know confrontation with Government or Army is do not working.
    You have to cooperation with them and by encouraging them to change their old habit if you want Government and Army to standing with peoples side by side.
    To achieve goal of peoples, we have to go step by step and not jumping from one to ten. We will fail again if we jumped too far. We should be patient. We should participate as supportive role and as well as observe during democratic reform.
    I don’t think it’s necessary to criticized anyone from opposition parties who cooperate with Government. Everyone has it own opinion and right to open up his or her opinion but we must be fair and with thoughtfulness.
    Daw Su is no magician and she does not have magic wand too. She can not sort out communal riot between two difference religion communities. The problem can be solving by restoring true Rule of Law in Burma. Police force should be retraining for quality and ethical standard. Some of lazy corrupted Judges must be dismissed or given retirement from their position. Government can not fix everything but Law enforcement and Justice sectors must fix as soon as possible. Absent of true Rule of Law will attract future communal riot in Burma.
    I support Daw Su role in President U Thein Sein democratic reform and all Burmese peoples should continue support Daw Su and her NLD party.

  11. we don’t want magician politician. we want DASSK as principle politician.uphold rule of law which she is campaigning.horse trading for political gain will not work for long term.Martyr Aung san successful for independent of country including Rakhine magh but failed magh vote in box.DASSk too should not expect vote from magh as they are radical extremist.DASSk can expect 85% seat of house,why she need worried.Magh rakhine are successful radicalize other ethnic for against rohingya, Myanmar Muslim with false baseless allegation.rakhine magh will fail to prevent NLD victory spreading their radical extremism,they can get only people like Wiratu in their book.if she fail to uphold truth,play dirty game ,she herself is loser at the end.

  12. Sectarian violence was created by the government, had they taken into custody the Muslims youths who raped and killed the Arakanese girl immediately and also the Muslim gold shop owners and the Buddhist women who created the disturbances quick in accordance to Law, sectarian violence would not have spread. The police need to be trained in the rule of law and to take action quick before trouble spread and is too late.

  13. George Than Setkyar Heine

    “I’ve said that the most important thing is to establish the rule of law… [it] is not just about the judiciary, it’s about the administration, it’s about the government, it’s about our police force, it’s about the training that we give to security forces,” said Suu Kyi.
    This time I certainly BUY this straight talk!
    Hence the QUESTION of the day “WHO WILL TIE the BELL on the CAT’S NECK? of course.
    Suu Kyi went into Than Shwe/Thein Sein’s PUPPET PARLIAMENT drawing both guns blazing and yelling “RULE OF LAW” is the ANSWER to ALL WOES in BURMA.
    Now WHO’S GOING to ESTABLISH the RULE of LAW?
    Of course there is NO JUSTICE in BURMA because Thein Sein’s outfit – government/administration – running the country from Naypyidaw just DON’T WANT the RULE of LAW other than Than Shwe’s like all times past to PREVAIL in the COUNTRY.
    Cases in point and evidence: the riot police FIREBOMBED the SLEEPING BUDDHIST MONKS and PEOPLE in the dead of the night (Nov. 29, 2012) at the Chinese copper mine site.
    Suu Kyi BUNGLED the JOB – investigating committee WHITEWASHED the CRIME – saying only SMOKE BOMBS knowing PHOSPHORUS (incendiary) BOMBS banned by international law as well were USED to MAIM the Buddhist monks and people (some lost their eye sight) in addition to severe burns to last their life time as well.
    The commission DID NOT FINGER the CULPRIT(S) RESPONSIBLE for the HEINOUS CRIME as well worst of all.
    Of course she played an ACQUIESCING GAME by letting the Chinese project to continue and at the same time contravening the EXPRESSED DESIRES of the LOCAL PEOPLE whose ancestral LANDS and independent LIVELIHOODS were LOOTED and SEIZED by the Chinese and military owned joint venture not to mention VAST NEGATIVE IMPACT on ENVIRONMENT, RELIGIOUS and CULTURAL HERITAGE as well.
    And in turn she has TURNED the LOCAL PEOPLE into the SLAVES of the CHINESE saying the communists would EMPLOY THEM in the MINING PROJECT and LOOK AFTER THEM.
    Hence, though she SEEMED to be TOUGH and COURAGEOUS on the outside SHE has REVEALED HER OTHER SIDE of the COIN – FEAR of the CHINESE like Than Shwe, Maung Aye, Khin Nyunt, Shwe Mann, Aung Min and the rest HOLDING the HELM of the COUNTRY since day one until today at Naypyidaw no less.
    Hence, as HEAD of the investigating commission SHE STANDS to ANSWER for the QUESTION of DERELICTION of DUTY and CORRUPTION as well thrown in of course.
    As for the POLICE FORCE in BURMA I would say they are NO BETTER THAN the LOCAL BULLIES and MUGGERS in UNIFORM harassing and intimidating the poor ordinary folk only.
    A case in point: Police at Htantabin township beating and robbing the local youths of their gold chains and filing reports in advance as disturbing peace and stealing quite despite to the contrary as evidenced today.
    Of course the case of a young poor traffic policeman (in uniform and on duty as well) MANHANDLED by that BRAT GRANDSON of Than Shwe’s, HAULED AWAY to the WOLVES’ LAIR (Naypyidaw) and THREATENED with LIFE compelling the poor lad to DROP CHARGES other than saying HE HAS BEEN INSULTED/ABUSED by the GRANDSON of the GUY who is currently ABOVE the LAW and REACH of JUSTICE not to mention HOLDING the HELM of the COUNTRY until today PROVED the FACT beyond any REASONABLE DOUBT as well: there is NO RULE of LAW other than Than Shwe’s whom Thein Sein OWES HIS LIFE and POSITION today in Burma, any bets?
    Hence, while this RAGTAG LOT is RUNNING LAWLESS BURMA Suu Kyi has MORPHED into a FALL GUY/TURNCOAT for the lot at Naypyidaw with the PROMISE of the PRESIDENT of BURMA, GUARANTEED by Than Shwe/Thein Sein and of course the communists in Beijing as well I say!
    And the PEOPLE of BURMA are LEFT IN A QUANDARY over the PROBLEM/QUESTION of CREDIBLE and GENUINE LEADERSHIP whom they could REALLY TRUST in the FIGHT for their FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY and RIGHTS and DRIVE the MILITARY OUT OF THE POLITICAL PICTURE of BURMA today of course.

  14. Communal disturbances, and a thousand and one problems facing our country cannot be solved by the magicians. if so, we should have voted for them in the election. It is by far the responsibility of the politicians, especially those who had grabbed power in the elections and world’s most influential person or persons, I mean, generations of them. Who else? We simply can’t transfer the burden onto the shoulders of poor magicians.

  15. Is she saying that she doesn’t know how to solve Burma’s problems? Perhaps she should go into retirement just like Than Shwe!
    I’m only half joking because now that she wants power (just like Than Shwe and others before her), she is becoming insincere, dishonest and corrupt like all the rest of the upper-class Burmese oligarchy. The difference is that people like Tay Za and Than Shwe are not icons for human rights, democracy, etc. etc. in the West. This opening-up strategy of Than Shwe used Suu Kyi as a marionette because of her popularity outside of Burma. That is now forcing Suu Kyi to speak with a triply forked tongue, one for the Tatmadaw (“I’m very fond of you guys!”), one for the poor peasants (“just be dirt poor and forget about your ancestral land and your sacred hills tayoke paing de. myay”) and one for the foreign press (“rule of law”, human rights”, “security” and all that cheap rhetoric). She’s behaving just like the Chinese “Communists”. Oh well, Burmese can’t get out of the deadly Chinese grip and are scared to death of the “wrath of the paukphaws”, it seems, and so to compensate for that they are bullying the dark-skinned Muslims as scapegoats! What else is new?

  16. George Than Setkyar Heine, Yes! We have another choice “88 Genaration Students” like Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi. I know that they will be good for ethnic minorities also.

    • Yes, Gen.88 will offer enlightened leadership of responsibility and freedom. Out of responsibility will come freedom and out of the freedom will grow responsibility.

  17. What is Democracy good for When Dead?
    Where are The People who Lynched and Killed Ten Travelling Muslim in Arakan from Rangoon and Myaung Mya.
    Did they find them yet?
    Thein Sein and Suu Kyi wife of Ari, are responsible for procastinating and also
    Thein Sein’s irresponsible remarks, regarding Rohingas…..
    Call FBI to Investigate
    ASAP

  18. Dear Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, You always talk about the Rule of Law, now is the time to teach the people the meaning of The Rule Of Law, you are an Oxford Graduate I’m sure you can explain to them so that they will know that it meant that every citizens is protected by the country laws and that every citizen is born equal and deserves to have equal human rights under the laws of the country.

  19. How foolish of u to say that DASSG wants the power just like the older usless guys! she wants to be in power jusy likr,eg.,if u want to donate to the poors , u must be the rich first,she wants the power for the of all of her citizines in Myanmar.i wish u would have thought wisely if u had
    observed and compared her actions and than shwe’s and others. Don’t forget that every democracy changes bright up in Myanmar because of her leadership. Have u ever found such kind of freedom during last 50 years? Be wise!

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