New York Times Op-Ed
27 May 2009
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has spent 13 years under house arrest in Myanmar. This week, the Burmese junta is likely to extend her detention for up to five years under the trumped-up charge of allowing a visitor into her compound.()
But while Suu Kyi has deservedly received a great deal of international attention over the past two decades, Myanmars ethnic minorities more than one-third of the population have suffered without international outcry. For Myanmars process of national reconciliation to be successful, the plight of the minorities must also be addressed.()
It is time for the United Nations to take the next logical step: The Security Council must establish a commission of inquiry into crimes against humanity and impunity in Myanmar. The Security Council took similar steps with regard to Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. The situation in Myanmar is equally as critical.
Creating a commission of inquiry will accomplish three important goals:
First, it will make the junta accountable for its crimes with a potential indictment by the International Criminal Court. Second, it will address the widespread culture of impunity in Burma. Third, it has the potential to deter future crimes against humanity in Myanmar.
For two decades, ethnic minorities in Myanmar have suffered while our diplomatic efforts failed to bear fruit. The time has come for the Security Council to act.