contents
Your weekly briefing on the state of 
humanity
SEE ALL ISSUES
EDITOR'S LETTER
Our world this week
NEWS FEATURE 1
Donald Trump the Democrat
NEWS FEATURE 2
Is the bitcoin bubble about to burst?
NEWS FEATURE 3
Israel’s house of cards
NEWS FEATURE 4
Italy: the last litmus test for European populism?
www.theguardian.com
Trump in Moscow: what happened at Miss Universe in 2013
www.middleeasteye.net
The smuggler and the refugee: Bullets, beatings and babies crying
www.bbc.co.uk
The world's least likely Girl Guides

Rohingya suffering casts a pall over Suu Kyi’s human rights credentials

Democracy in Myanmar
See 35 more
Aung San Suu Kyi at a polling station during her election victory in 2015.
Lam Yik Fei/ Getty Images
Aung San Suu Kyi at a polling station during her election victory in 2015.
F ootage which emerged this week shows a large group of villagers in the northern Burmese state of Rakhine seated on the floor while two officers repeatedly beat and kick a young man. It is the most compelling evidence yet of police brutality during a security crackdown in November, and has thrust the plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya community back into the full view of the international community.
The crackdown followed an attack on military personnel in Rakhine in October which the government blamed on Rohingya separatists. Bowing to pressure from abroad, Aung San Suu Kyi’s administration set up a commission to investigate abuse claims in December. After it concluded that they had been “fabricated”, human rights groups described the probe as a coverup.
Many Burmese regard the Rohingya as relics of the colonial era, believing they were brought to Myanmar by the British and are therefore illegal immigrants. As a result, they have been denied citizenship and basic rights by successive governments and are considered by human rights groups to be among the most persecuted groups in the world.
The electoral victory of Ms. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) in 2015 prompted cautious optimism that conditions might improve for the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities. But few observers think much has changed.
As Joseph Mullen, an expert in persecution at the University of Manchester, points out, the NLD has in the past been ambivalent towards ethnic minorities. In addition, he told TWW, the events in Rakhine highlighted the NLD’s “apparent lack of control” over military operations and Buddhist extremism. 
All this has reignited the debate over the humanitarian credentials of Ms. Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 “for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights". Is there a fundamental lack of desire to help the Rohingya within the NLD, or does the political context bind its hands? The reality may be a toxic combination of the two.
Alastair McCready
The World Weekly
05 January 2017 - last edited 05 January 2017