Parsing the Riddle of Aung San Suu Kyi: The Long, Troubling Fall of a Human Rights Icon

Presented with The Commons Brooklyn

Design by k-hots

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi for decades enjoyed the status of an icon of the international human rights movement. During 15 years under house arrest, Sui Kyi became the symbol of peaceful democratic opposition to authoritarian military governments which have ruled Myanmar, also known as Burma, for 30 years.  Those days are over. 

Suu Kyi is now reviled for her perceived failure as Myanmar’s defacto political leader to speak out against a vicious scorched earth campaign of targeted mass killings, sexual violence and forced exile by Myanmar's military against the country’s Muslim minority Rohingya population. Suu Kyi has been silent while the Myanmar military has perpetrated what the United Nations has described as “textbook ethnic cleansing” and other acts indicative of crimes against humanity. As more than half a million Rohingya have taken refuge over the border in neighboring Bangladesh, Suu Kyi has been singled out for withering criticism for failing to defend the rights of the Rohingya and accused of passive complicity with in their plight. 

Whatever happened to Aung San Suu Kyi? Did she even deserve the mantle of international human rights symbol and does it matter that she can’t or won’t intervene to support the rights of Myanmar’s Rohingya minority? Hunter College adjunct professor Phelim Kine parses the riddle of Aung San Suu Kyi and her role in Asia’s worst humanitarian disaster in decades.




Location: The Commons Brooklyn

388 Atlantic Avenue Between Hoyt and Bond. Brooklyn, NY 11217

Commons Brooklyn believes that by providing space where all views, even those we oppose, can be presented, examined, and perhaps refuted, we are helping to build a more just and free society. The Commons offers affordable office and meeting spaces, as well as an event venue. We can host anything from parties and benefits to forums, performances, films, and workshops. Our café can offer light meals, desserts, fair-trade organic coffees, teas, wine, and beer during any event.


Other upcoming Olios


Oct 27

Turning the Soul: Humanities and the Hero's Journey

Taught by Vishwa Adluri
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Oct 30

Traversing the Veil: Alchemy, Wisdom, and The Modern Witch

Taught by Jaime Weida
7:30 p.m. at Chinatown Soup

Sign Up - $15

Nov 3

Shakespeare and the Invention of the Supervillain

Taught by Geoff Klock
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Nov 7

*Olio Seminar* Know Your Rights? Know Your Rights!

Taught by Lawrence Cappello
7 p.m. at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP

Sign Up - $50

Nov 8

Breaking Tradition and Finding Your Voice: Classical Music to Free Jazz

Taught by Whitney George
7:30 p.m. at The Commons Brooklyn

Sign Up - $15


Find out when we launch new classes!

Official Partner with Penguin Press.