What has disappointed many is that Nobel laureate and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi took a long time to speak out clearly to uphold Rohingya rights and condemn the extremists. She recently told Indian Broadcaster NTV: "Violence is something I condemn completely, but don't forget that violence has been committed by both sides. This is why I prefer not to take sides and also I want to work towards reconciliation between these two communities. I'm not going to be able to do that if I'm going to take sides."
Suu Kyi elaborated further, saying: "There's a quarrel whether people are true citizens under the law or whether they have come over as migrants later from Bangladesh. One of the very interesting and rather disturbing facts of this whole problem is that most people seem to think as that there was only one country involved in this border issue. But there are two countries. There's Bangladesh one side, there's Burma on the other and the security and the security of the border is surely the responsibility of both countries."
But in the past she has referred to Rohingyas with the pejorative term "Bengalis" suggesting some should not be recognized as citizens in Myanmar.
The whole issue has tarnished the glow of fast-paced reform in Myanmar. While the rest of the country is enjoying freedoms not experienced in 60 years of military dictatorship, in Rahkine State the ethnic cleansing is continuing with impunity. It demands the attention of the international community, for the sake of children like Saulama... before it's too late.