THE PROBLEM is she's a novice in her current role. As a politician, and a saint, it must be said that  Aung San Suu Kyi has proved inept. This is scarcely surprising.

She lived most of her life abroad, was confined on her return, and has now no prior experience of governing or administering.

YOU don't endure a decade and a half of house arrest, opt not to see your dying husband in England and endure separation from your children without a steely patriotic conviction.

This is her force, a magnetic field. It can also be blinding. ''Mother Suu knows best,'' said David Scott Mathieson, an analyst based in Yangon.

''Except that she's in denial of the dimensions of what happened''.

The hard grind of politics is foreign to her. Empathy is not her thing. Take her to a refugee camp, she won't throw her arms around children.

She sees herself as incarnating the inner spirit of her country, a struggle-backed Buddhist woman with a mission to complete what her father, whom she lost when she was 2, set out to do : unify the nation. Yet the road to that end remains vague.

Even Myanmar's ultimate identity - a Buddhist state dominated by her own ethnic bamar majority or a genuinely federalist, multireligious union   -remain unclear. He voice is absent.

Could she,  short of the military red lines that surround her,  have expressed her indignation at an immense suffering of Rohingya civilians, and condemned the arson and killing that sent hundreds and thousands of terrified human beings on their way? Perhaps.

But that would demand that she believes this is the essence of the story. It's unclear that she does; she's suspicious of the Rohingya claims and what she sees as manipulation of the media  '

It would also demand that she deem the political risk  tolerable in a country that overwhelmingly supports her in her stance.

Certainly she did not order the slaughter. Nor did she have the constitutional power to stop it.

What is clear is that  Aung San Suu Kyi's reticence has favored obfuscation  It has left the field open for a ferocious  Facebook wars  over recent events.

The Rohingya and  Buddhists inhabit separate realities. There are agreed facts, even basic ones. This is the contemporary  post-truth  condition. As the Annan report notes. ''narratives are often exclusive and irreconcilable.''

In Rakhine State,  where all hell broke lose last August, the poverty is etched in drawn faces with staring eyes. The streets of its capital, Sittwe, a little over an hour's flight from Yangon, are dusty and  depleted.

It's beach overrun by  stray dogs and cows feeding on garbage. As the town goes, so goes all of Rakhine, now one of the poorest parts of Myanmar, itself a very poor country. The violence that ripped through the  northern part  of the state was a disaster foretold.

There was an early eruption, in 2012,  when intercommunal violence between Rakhine Buddhists and the Muslim left close to 200 people dead and about 120,000  people marooned in camps.

There they have rotted for five years, Governments promises have yielded nothing. The camps are closed off.

Former Rohingya districts in towns have been emptied, a shocking exercise in ghettoization.

The Sad Honor and Serving of the Operational Research on Ronhingya continues to Part 4.


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