Honors Scholars Collaborative Projects

Publication Date



Based on Real Events & the New York Times article "Rohingya Recount Atrocities: 'They Threw My Baby Into a Fire'" by Jeffrey Gettleman (Oct. 11, 2017)

Edmund Burke has been attributed the saying, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” I am in my second draft of a screenplay exploring the tangled web of factors which led to the ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya Muslims, a minority group in Myanmar, which began in late 2016. Suu Kyi and her administration deny its occurrence.

A tumultuous history of empires, invasions, and migrations, brought different ethno-religious groups into proximity. Britain’s colonization entrenched pre-existing tensions. Assimilation attempts of a military regime against the minority groups incited tensions to turn to violence as the minorities sought to protect their identities. The government’s denial of the Rohingya’s citizenship allowed the violence to escalate into ethnic cleansing. Suu Kyi’s silence and implicit accomplice betrayed her image as a globally renowned icon of democracy and human rights by enabling the persecution of the Rohingya to continue, unpunished. World leaders denounce her and her administration, rescind her prizes, and call for the government to rectify the situation; yet they otherwise, effectively, do nothing. It is all too easy to sit in our relatively comfortable, safe lives and, without even attempting to understand them, condemn and demonize others, while not affecting any amount of real change. We didn’t start the fire, but we let it burn.

Faculty Advisor

Jeff Phillips

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Included in

Screenwriting Commons