By Sajjad Karim - 24th October 2013
The long silence of Ms Suu Kyi on the plight of the Rohingya Muslims has cast a shadow on her political career
Aung San Suu Kyi has collected her EU human rights prize, but made no mention of Rohingya persecution, writes Sajjad Karim.
Burmese pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, arrived in Strasbourg on Tuesday to finally collect the EU Sakharov prize which was awarded to her 23 years ago.
However, the mass persecution of the minority Rohingya Muslim community and her silence on the issue still casts a dark shadow over the Nobel peace prize winner.
The world's most iconic political prisoner was awarded the EU human rights prize in 1990, however, after 15 years of being imprisoned in her own home, she was unable to receive the prize due to fear of being exiled from her home country.
Ms Suu Kyi, recently elected to the Burmese opposition and in the running to be the country's next president, is currently on a European tour with visits to London scheduled next week.
However, the long silence of Ms Sui Kyi on the plight of the Rohingya Muslims has cast a shadow on her political career. Many were dismayed by the iconic figure who chose to turn her back on the Rohingya - regarded by the UN as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
The courage and dedication of Aung San Sui Kyi to bring democracy to the people of Burma is dutifully recognised by awarding her the EU Sakharov prize. She is one of the true champions of democracy.
However, as the world looked to her for moral leadership on the bloodshed and expulsion of 125,000 Rohingya Muslims which took place in her own country, she stood silent. Her lack of words was deafening.
Her blind spot regarding the persecution of the Rohinya community, who have lived for generations in west Burma, is highly alarming for a person of her stature.
In 2012, violent riots broke out in the Rakhine state between Buddhists and the Muslim minority, where the minority were forcibly segregated and put into camps, often out of reach from aid agencies. Government forces were often complicit in the attacks and the Rohingya continue to remain stateless.
Sajjad Karim is a member of parliament's legal affairs committee