(Image credit: AFP)
Next week, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and de facto head of government of Myanmar, will appear in person before the International Court of Justice. She will be defending her country in the case brought by Gambia for breaches of the Genocide Convention due to atrocities against the Rohingya. The Court will be holding oral hearings on provisional measures in the case (for our earlier coverage, see here). According to an AFP report:
Ardent fans of Aung San Suu Kyi are snapping up spots on $2,000 tours to The Hague, in a display of moral support as Myanmar faces charges of genocide over the Rohingya crisis at the UN’s top court in December.
Supporter rallies, billboards and outpourings of praise online followed the shock announcement by the country’s civilian leader last week that she would personally represent Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The once-lauded democracy champion will be defending the 2017 military crackdown against the Rohingya minority.
One travel operator is organising a five-day tour to The Hague that includes visa and transportation as part of a $2,150 package, said employee Ma July — a prohibitive rate for most in the developing nation.
Social influencer Pencilo and well-known TV presenter Mg Mg Aye are among the 20 or so people to have already signed up.
“I believe this is our duty as citizens,” Pencilo, 29, told AFP Friday, urging any of her 1.1 million Facebook followers who have the means to do the same.
“It’s important the world knows her compatriots are fully behind her.”
– ‘We stand with you’ –
All of this is so deeply disturbing on so many levels that I genuinely find myself bereft of words. But the image above somehow manages to convey it all – Peace Palace, Photoshop, Facebook. For analysis of why Suu Kyi has decided to appear before the Court in person, perhaps due to her total inability to accept a reality that is not to her liking, or perhaps as part of a cynical strategy to buoy support for her party and herself within Myanmar, see here and here. Either way, it will be a sad spectacle, in more ways than one.