The Rohingnya Phlight: Cate Blanchett Tells Suu Kyi To Start Acting


The Rohingya Plight: Cate Blanchett Tells Suu Kyi To Start Acting

Australian actress Cate Blanchett uses her star pulling power to draw attention to the callous disregard for life and humanity of the Rohingyas – Myanmar’s persecuted minority. Speaking at the United Nations, she tells Aung San Suu Kyi to ACT NOW!

The plight of the Rohingyas is in focus again – with the United Nations marking the one-year anniversary when it was subjected to genocidal atrocities and being driven out of their own country.

In failing to bring the perpetrators to book, the world community has been blamed for failing to address the sufferings of the Rohingyas and they have been urged not to fail them again.

No less than the august body of the UN Security Council was the scene for an impassioned plea for action; the speech by actress and twice-Academy Awards winner Cate Blanchett being the highlight during proceedings on Tuesday (28 August 2018).

Their plight has come for attention again on the first anniversary of the outbreak of violence in the Rakhine state where hundreds of thousands of the Rohingyas were forcibly and violently driven out of their homes and villages in what can only be an act of genocide through the use of violence.

The military have been fingered as the perpetrators if not facilitators, turning a blind eye to actions of wanton savagery by the local populace driven by right wing buddhists on the fleeing Rohingyas.

The military have been fingered as the perpetrators if not facilitators, turning a blind eye to actions of wanton savagery by the local populace driven by right wing buddhists on the fleeing Rohingyas.

Blanchett’s concern is widely reflective of the UN report holding Myanmar’s military for carrying out mass killings, gang rapes, razing entire villages to the ground and other unimaginable atrocities designed to exterminate and drive out a whole minority populace.

This report also raised the possibility of prosecuting Myanmar’s commander generals in the military who stood accused of complicity.

Blanchett praised Bangladesh for offering a safe haven to just under a million of the Rohingya refugees as they streamed westwards fleeing persecution, describing it as; “…one of the most visible and significant gestures of humanity.”

During one of her visits to Cox Bazar in 2017, Blanchett expressed amazement at how welcoming the already impoverished local population were who offered to take the refugees home for shelter into their own homes.

She urged more support since Bangladesh itself faces many economic challenges and is susceptible to natural calamities and disasters on a regular basis.

Blanchett’s voice is being heard in her capacity as goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She criticised Suu Kyi who as State Counselor is Myanmar’s de factor leader for turning a blind eye and not speaking out to condemn the atrocities against the Rohingyas.

In her address, she noted; “It is bewildering, is it not, that someone who has been such a fighter for even a fragile democracy, someone who upholds human rights, does not seem to be speaking out more clearly about the atrocities that are so very clearly happening under her watch. The most pressing thing for me is the need to support the refugees in the very immediate present as the monsoon comes. Obviously, political solutions are absolutely vital.”

Suu Kyi’s apparent imperious behaviour and seemingly impervious lack of concern for the plight of the Rohingya is rather baffling considering she knows the meaning of persecution – she was kept under house arrest for many years by the Myanmar military before the era of democracy swept the country.

Blanchett has gone so far as indicating that Myanmar should embrace the return of the Rohingyas to the Rakhine state, granted full citizenship rights that would ensure access to education, healthcare and banish the threat of harm or violence. “There are no shortcuts, no alternatives,” said Blanchett

There are no shortcuts, no alternatives, said Blanchett

Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition for her sufferings. Her lack of concern for the human rights and the promotion of tolerance for others who are now suffering far worse fate both mental and physical has caused many to suggest Suu Kyi is undeserving of the Nobel prize, which indeed; should now be taken away from her.

Maybe Cate Blanchett should play Suu Kyi in her next movie. It is doubtful though, despite her magnificent portrayal of Queen Elizabeth l in the 1998 period movie Elizabeth of England, Blanchett can truly summon such callous disregard from within her for the sufferings of others to really show up Suu Kyi for what she truly is.