Moment of reckoning (Indian Express)
Mains Paper 2 : International
Prelims level : Rohingya Crisis
Mains level : Myanmar move to address rohingya issues
- Aung San Suu Kyi’s decision to appear before the International Court of
Justice to defend Myanmar from charges of genocide against Rohingya Muslims
is a gambit.
- It is based on her international stature built over two decades of being
a prisoner of conscience, detained by the Myanmar junta, and the knowledge
that defending her country can only bolster her nationalistic credentials at
home and even strengthen her standing vis a vis the all-powerful military.
Role of Suu Kyi
- Suu Kyi, who holds the formal designation of State Counsellor to the
government, but is de facto civilian leader of Myanmar, possibly believes
that her defending her country’s actions against the Rohingya would carry
credibility in the court.
- Her decision to travel to The Hague has triggered an outpouring of
support for her among Myanmar’s majority Buddhist communities.
- Myanmar’s anti-Rohingya actions, for which it is being pulled up before
the international court, enjoy much domestic support as the Rohingya are not
considered “indigenous” to Myanmar, and do not have citizenship.
- It is ironic that Suu Kyi, who had only some years ago, rallied
international opinion against the army, will now appear in its support.
- She may have sensed that it might provide her a more equal footing with
the country’s most powerful institution, which is also the biggest obstacle
to constitutional reform.
Backed by Gambia:
- The most powerful countries seemed powerless in the face of Myanmar’s
actions against the Rohingya community, it was a small country like Gambia,
backed by the Organisation for Islamic Co-operation, that has taken it to
the ICJ on charges of violating the UN convention of prevention of genocide.
- Gambia’s lawsuit is based on a 2018 UN report that accused Myanmar of
“genocidal intent”, and its Army of murder, rape and a host of other
- Suu Kyi’s staunch refusal to take the side of the Rohingya has
disappointed all those who saw her as an icon of freedom and democracy. Her
defence in court is likely to be what it has been elsewhere:
- That military operations against the Rohingya in the Rakhine were
actions against terrorism.
- The outflow of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar has impacted several of
its neighbours, particularly Bangladesh, which now hosts the largest
Rohingya refugee camp in the world, as well as Thailand and other countries
in south east Asia, where thousands from the communuity have fled to escape
- In India, too, the presence of the Rohingya has added to the polarising
debate on the religion of refugees.
- This case at the ICJ is sure to have ramifications beyond the borders of
Q.1) With reference to the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX),
consider the following statements:
1. It is a European special-purpose vehicle (SPV) to circumvent U.S.
sanctions against trade with North Korea by avoiding use of the dollar.
2. France, Germany and United Kingdom are the founding members of INSTEX.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Q.1) To what extent Suu Kyi’s refusal to speak for Rohingya is significant to
defend army at ICJ sets off ripples beyond Myanmar. Comment.