Muhammad Yunus: Aung San Suu Kyi ‘has to fix it’

We speak to Nobel Peace laureate Muhammad Yunus about the Rohingya crisis, and debate what makes a feminist.

In this week’s UpFront, we speak with Nobel Peace laureate Muhammad Yunus about the Rohingya crisis, whether Aung San Suu Kyi is to blame for the ongoing violence, and we also cover his new book on rising inequality and the cost of environmental degradation.

And in the Arena, we debate “Third-Wave” or “Choice” feminism: should feminists support all women’s choices or are some choices holding women back? 

Headliner: Muhammad Yunus: Aung San Suu Kyi 100 percent to blame

In what the United Nations has called “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”, in recent weeks more than half a million majority-Muslim Rohingya have fled Myanmar for neighbouring Bangladesh. Myanmar’s security forces and Buddhist vigilantes have been accused of mass rape, murder and the burning of entire villages. 

Nobel Peace laureate and economist Muhammad Yunus placed the blame on de facto leader and fellow Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. 

“I’ll put 100 percent of the blame on her because she is the leader,” Yunus said. 

When asked if Myanmar’s military is actually wielding the power and rendering her essentially powerless, Yunus replied, “Well, then she should resign”. 

Yunus also said that by staying on in government Aung San Suu Kyi is “absolutely” giving her blessing to the military and its actions in Myanmar. 

“Not only that, verbally she’s defending it,” he added. “She says, ‘I don’t know why these people are going. No, we don’t have atrocities. No, it is Arakanese who are attacking us.’ All kinds of things … She gets all the blame and she’s responsible for it, and she has to fix it.” 

In the interview, we also discuss his new book, and Yunus warns that the way the concentration of wealth has taken place in the world is leading to a ticking timebomb. 

For this week’s Headliner, we speak with Muhammad Yunus, the author of the new book, A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions.

Arena: What makes someone a “feminist”?

As a new generation of feminists have risen up around the world in what’s been called “Third Wave” or “Choice” feminism, many are questioning: should feminists support all women’s choices or are some choices actually holding women back? 

“People can make personal choices as much as they want, but how does that contribute to the liberation of all women?” asks Meghan Murphy.

“I believe in a variety of approaches to feminism,” says Jamia Wilson, adding that she believes that liberation will come when society dismantles patriarchy, capitalism, white supremacy, and imperialism, but that she also knows that “different people have different experiences and theories of change about how to get to liberation”.

So, what makes a feminist? In this week’s Arena, we debate this with Meghan Murphy, founder of Feminist Current, and Jamia Wilson, executive director at Feminist Press. 

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