Myanmar defies the “International Community”

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto leader, has rejected UN calls for an investigation into the plight of the so-called Rohingya ethnic minority in the country. Violence irrupted in the Arakan province in October 2016 when Jihadi terrorists attacked a police checkpoint along the Bangladeshi border, killing nine policemen.

The attacks were blamed on the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO), a Jihadi terrorist organisation with links to Saudi Arabia. Human rights groups linked to the US State Department and British intelligence such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International launched a concerted appeal to the “international community” to do something to prevent “genocide” against the Rohingya minority after Burmese troops launched a military operation to quell the Islamist insurgency. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has accused the Myanmar government of genocide based on the reports of the aforementioned dubious organisations, who have a track record of spreading lies and disinformation in order to justify wars of aggression disguised as “humanitarian interventions.”

The Burmese government has set up a commission to investigate allegations of state crimes in Arakan. The plight of the Rohingya has received copious press coverage in recent years. The Rohingya are in fact ethnic Bengali Muslims who have been migrating to the formerly Buddhist province of Arakan since the 19th Century, when the British Empire settled Muslim landlords from Chittagong to farm the area. The province does have a glorious Islamic history which goes back to the 15th century; but the Buddhist population has become a minority in the Northern Arakan in recent decades.

Thousands of Buddhist women have been raped and murdered by Bengali Muslims; yet the Western media has shown little or no interest. Instead, the focus has been on demonising the nationalist monks who are encouraging a boycott of what they see as an attempt by the Bengali Muslims to ethnically cleanse the province. No objective investigation into the ethnic violence in the province has been carried out by the Western press. Instead, the nationalist monks have been described as “racist.”and numerous badly translated videos taken out of context have been produced to that effect.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been an asset of British and American imperialism since the CIA-backed 8888 Uprising in 1988, which attempted to overthrow the nationalist regime and install a puppet leader favorable to the West. It was always hoped she would open up the mineral-rich country to Western corporations. However, the “international community”, that is to say the US and its vassal states, has recently expressed regret at the slow pace of economic reform since she  was elected to run the country in 2015: Aung San Suu Kyi was supposed to hand Myanmar on a plate to Western interests but she has so far failed to deliver.

Leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD), Aung San Suu Kyi now appears to be defying the international community – playing the nationalist card. With the West in terminal decline, it is likely that Suu Kyi has understood the country’s best interests lie in further raprochement with China. A hotbed of ethnic tension,  Yangon could also be facing, inter alia, an insurgency from the Islamic State and the Kashin Independence Army (KIA). The country is currently holding its first by-elections since Aung San Suu Kyi’s rise to power in 2015 and ethnic tensions are already palpable. NLD activists have reportedly been threatened in Shan State by the Shan State Army. The Union of Myanmar is fragile and foreign powers could easily destabilise the country should NLD decide to reject the West in favour of China.

The Rohingya cause has received support from hedge-fund billionaire George Soros, whose Open Society Foundations push a neoliberal agenda marketed as human rights and democracy. Some supporters of the Rohingya story have pointed out that the Burmese army has close contacts with Israel and that the violence against the Rohingya minority is being stoked up by Tel Aviv. The Burmese military certainly has close links to Israel and Israeli operatives are pushing Islamophobia in the country, but Russia and China also have close relations with Israel; does that mean that China’s crackdown on Western-backed Uighur terrorists in Qingyang Province and Russia’s ongoing war against Jihadis in the North Caucasus, are also part of a Zionist conspiracy? Hardly.

The conflict in Myanmar is extremely complex but the narrative constructed by the military-industrial-media-intelligence- ngo complex blaming the government for all the country’s problems is reminiscent of the early stages of the Western-backed terrorist campaign against Libya, Syria and many other countries. Aung San Suu Kyi may still be operating on behalf of her former Western sponsors, or she may be following in the footsteps of her father, who betrayed his Japanese imperialist backers to pursue a nationalist line.

Perhaps Aung San Suu Kyi learned an important lesson during her years under house arrest by the military regime: the country will never develop if it sells out completely to the “international community.” In the Chinese century there is only one belt and one road.

Many elite circles in Europe and the United States are calling for Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel Prize to be revoked. She is faced with a clear choice: expel all foreign NGOs and move economically and militarily closer to China thus ensuring a future for the country or cave into Western neocolonial pressure, ceding ground on the Rohingya issue. If she does the former, she will join Gaddafi and Assad in the Western hall of demons. But she can win the war if she stands her ground and may well be a candidate for the Confucius Peace Prize- the medal worn by those who lead in the true path of peace and development.

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Cover image thanks to Flickr user Pucciami, used under Creative Commons. No alterations were made to the image.

About Gearóid Ó Colmáin

Gearóid Ó Colmáin is an Irish journalist and political analyst based in Paris. His work focuses on globalisation, geopolitics and class struggle.

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  1. Pundits have been questioning what went wrong with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s government and their policies: Were the NLD unprepared or did they lose their vision and become complacent?
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  2. I appreciate Gearóid’s knowledge of this complex situation. But the ‘China is good and the United States is bad’ narrative is not helpful. A lot of people like the idea of highlighting the decline of the American Empire (perhaps feeling that the words can wound that false prophet who has wounded the world), pointing to others that are rising. They are all godless empires, or would-be empires, my friend. (If the United States ceased to exist tomorrow, and China was left to rule the world, Do you imagine that the cancerous money system would disappear and the inequality and exploitation that a money system enables would disappear?) And, yes, There is a God. And he is not humankind.

  3. There is nothing in this article I would argue with. Why would I? I know nothing. I’m trying to learn and I’ve heard Gearóid talk about this before, probably via 21st Century. 21st Century is the sort of source I get my information from. Filters are more needed now than ever. It’s filters vs Google’s police state algorithms. As real news gets buried by fascists entities like Google, those without some idea already who to turn to for information will be screwed. And so I am alarmed that my comment here was disappeared. This happens when I am in fact directing traffic to sites like Gearóid’s, so I am hurt.

    What was the problem? I often don’t start keeping track of censorious behavior until I’ve seen it happen for the first time (and I can’t remember exactly what I said that deserved to get disappeared). Then, unless it’s a site that I have absolutely no use for anyway, I start keeping track. I could be spending more time just learning, but alas, It’s a free universe and I am not impervious to what others do to me.

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