>> A Nobel Peace Prize winner and a violent military crackdown. As the world watches a near biblical exodus of 400,000 stateless Rohingya Muslims scrambling to flee Myanmar, those two conflicting concepts have fellow Nobel laureates asking why has leader Aung San Suu Kyi kept so quiet on the UN chief calls a textbook example of ethnic cleansing?
As Reuters Antoni Slodkowski reports from Yangon, domestic politics has put her in an awkward position.>> This operation, as shocking as it may be to international community, has enormous support among the Burmese and this is because they feel they have been attacked by an alien element in their society.
it is also important to realize is that if Suu Kyi decided to speak out about the plight of the Rohingya, it would be difficult for her to not come under tremendous criticism from Buddhist hardliners, nationalists and the military itself. It's likely that she will be painted as an apologist for what the government has called extremist terrorists.
>> Years ago, it was the military that repeatedly placed Suu Kyi under house arrest. Today, although the army no longer officially runs Myanmar, it's still extremely powerful. And if there's one thing that unifies the public, Suu Kyi's party and the former military rulers, it's their fierce dislike of the Muslim minority.
>> Nothing better to unite former enemies as a common enemy, and it seems as if they perceive the Rohingya as a common threat. While, some sources and western diplomats tell us that Suu Kyi privately expresses her deep skepticism about the military, it still doesn't change the fact that most of the government officials, including very senior members of Suu Kyi's own party, believe that these people aren't from Myanmar.
That these people don't deserve Burmese citizenship and then they should be expelled from the country or put in camps.>> Western diplomats also tell Reuters they're worried about taking steps to abandon Suu Kyi or reimpose sanctions on Myanmar, moves which could threaten the country's fragile transition to democracy.