Is Aung San Suu Kyi destroying her reputation in Burma? Plus the effect of the UK's post-Brexit immigration plan, Hurricane Irma and Eurythmics' Dave Stewart. Kirsty Wark presents.
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Ang Sang Suu Kyi, once feted as the woman who can do no
wrong on the world stage, now she's being cast as the bad guy
Her office is accusing international aid workers
There's talk of crimes against humanity and even
We ask a human rights activist and a campaigner
Hurricane Irma continues to bring havoc and death
to the Caribbean, as it heads towards Cuba and Florida.
We'll hear from an eye witness to the strongest
And Eurythmics' Dave Stewart returns to the stage, flying solo.
I think Annie and I...will be joined at the hip for ever.
Yeah, I would say we definitely will.
Fake news - not two words from Donald Trump,
but from the famous Nobel Peace prize-winning leader of Burma,
Ang Sang Suu Kyi, praised by everyone from Barack Obama
She is seeking to deflect the Rohingya crisis that has so far
sent almost 150,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing
Her government denies the Burmese military have laid land mines along
the border between the two countries, but the BBC
at least three injuries from land mines just this week.
At Westminster, the Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi called the recent
violence against the Rohingya a campaign of "ethnic cleansing",
and she went on to condemn the international community
for "effectively remaining silent as we watch another Srebrenica
Ang Sang Suu Kyi insists that the crisis is being
distorted by a "huge iceberg of misinformation" promoting
Here's our diplomatic editor, Mark Urban.
These scenes are causing a global impact.
An exodus of Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing security
operations by the Armed Forces of Burma, or Myanmar.
Today, the head of the UN criticised that government's offensive
and urged the granting of full human rights to the Rohingya.
I appeal to all - all - authorities in Myanmar,
and military authorities, to indeed put an end
in my opinion, is creating a situation that can
And the crisis is doing nothing for the international reputation
Once imprisoned and a symbol of the country's yearning
for democracy, she has since 2015 been a leading member
Now she is denouncing the press for reporting the Rohingya mission,
making references to fake news and an "iceberg of misinformation".
From her education in Britain to today's crisis, it's
She kind of melded very brilliantly for a while the whole Western,
British democratic politics with this kind of discourse,
you had Oxford, with the Burmese Buddhism that she grew
up in and with the whole independence philosophy
These were very disparate things which she melded very successfully.
But that is a hard mix, or fix, to maintain indefinitely,
both from a psychological point of view and from a practical point
of view, and unfortunately, I think that she's lost the plot.
During the long years of house arrest, Aung was championed
In fact I very often thought I'm quite free,
I don't know why people say I'm not free.
After her release five years ago, she campaigned
The belief in spiritual freedom does not have to mean an indifference
to the practical need for the basic rights and freedoms that
are generally seen as necessary that human beings may live
A basic human right which I value highly is freedom from fear.
She is very much an insider, her father having founded
modern Burma and belonged to its military elite.
And in the current confrontation between the army and the Muslim
minority, she stands against militancy and
Well, I'm upset that she hasn't abided by her own
which made her such a great person, the values which are important.
She's there, she's queen bee, she's got the power,
she's got the following, she's where she wants to be.
She's not particularly bothered, as far as I can tell,
about what the outside world thinks any more.
With the campaign against the Rohingyas still underway,
the Burmese Government is taking a defiant line -
consequences of the operation have caused some at least to think again
Akshaya Kumar is the deputy United Nations director
at Human Rights Watch, and she joins us from New York.
Good evening to you. First of all, can you describe what you think is
the plight of the Rohingya people just now? What our researchers have
been able to find is incredibly disturbing. We know that almost
150,000 people have been forced to flee for their lives across a
dangerous river into Bangladesh. Many are hungry and tired and many
are reporting that they've lost their family members in attacks by
the military, by security forces. They feel persecuted and this
doesn't come just from this incident but also from the systematic
discrimination that this community faces for so many years inside
Myanmar. You will have heard today that this has been called fake news
by Ang Sang Suu Kyi? That's right. She says we are dealing with a
terrorist threat, and I have to say that yes, there have been some
pieces of misinformation, some photos circulated from other
conflicts which are purported to come from the crisis. With what
we've found independently, through our own satellite imagery analysis,
is that over 20 front unique locations in the northern part of
Rakhine state have been eliminated - not all of this can be dismissed as
fake news. What power do you think Ang Sang Suu Kyi has to stop this?
Well, in some ways, Burma's government is now split between the
military and the civilian side, but what Ang Sang Suu Kyi has is quite
unique because she is a Nobel peace laureate, is the power of her voice,
her conviction and the power to stand up for all people within the
country, including the much maligned and attacked Rohingya community, and
today she just hasn't done that. In the lectures for the BBC she talked
about basic human rights for all - now, was that just for public
consumption or do you really believe that she is equivocating over this
or that she genuinely believes? Does she believe the range or do not have
the same human rights? It is hard to know what's actually motivating her
at this point in time. There could be some political calculations. She
is at the end of the day an elected politician. But her words, the
words, they stand for themselves. She has spoken out for human rights
for all people, whether baby citizens or not. So, any of this
domestic rhetoric that says these people do not belong here should not
matter, because they don't deserve to be killed and persecuted and
driven from their homes by rapes or killings by the military. Finally,
do you think there is something the Nobel peace committee should do,
there is talk of rescinding her prize which they say they can't do,
but should there be some censure? The prize itself is irrevocable but
it does stand for some principles. We've already seen a few Nobel
laureates reach out and asking Ang Sang Suu Kyi to do the right thing
and to stand up. Many more of these laureates can do that and we can
only hope that their voices will prevail on her to take the right
decision to cooperate with the UN and to stop obstructing the delivery
of aid and to allow independent human rights investigators in to
determine what is the truth and what is fake news.
Labour MP Rushanara Ali is the chair of the all-party
Good evening. Do you think that she was massively lauded by Barack
Obama, Angela Merkel, the BBC lecture, she opened your party's
headquarters - was it a huge miscalculations? I don't think it
was a miscalculation. I think the international community rightly
agonised her sacrifice and her fight for democracy in her country. And
that was the right thing to do. But I think what we failed to do is to
recognise that the transition to democracy was not going to be a
smooth one, and one of the things that I and many other
parliamentarians, one of the challenges which we expressed would
continue, was that if we remove sanctions very rapidly, we would
lose the leverage to influence the government, which even with
democratic transition, it is an in perfect democracy, 25% of
parliamentarians are still from the ruling military, who control defence
and security and much else, they hold the balance of power
ultimately. Maybe there was a missed cut elation. We heard her
biographers say that she was very much steeped in the military, she
was part of the whole state idea and perhaps she was pulling the wool
over our eyes? I wouldn't say that but I think that sometimes, because
of her persona, because of her campaign and being under house
arrest, many of us, I did and many of us... Were beguiled? Looked to
her as a symbol. And it's been deeply disappointing that she has
not stood up for the rights of the minority is, particularly the
Rohingya. I visited Burma in 2012 after the attacks on Rohingya
Muslims, where over 100,000 were displaced, and subsequently, they
don't recognise the Rohingya, they don't recognise the disappeared
ones. Exactly, she consistently accused... She was never clear about
the Rohingya comma she always equivocated about the Rohingya. Yes,
and many yes. Terrines in this country and in other countries
raised alarm bells about that. -- and many parliamentarians. So what
happens? Your colleague has talked about the ghost of Srebrenica, the
ghost of Rwanda - can anyone stop her? Well, it's not just Ang Sang
Suu Kyi, it's the military, it's the military who is dictating what is
happening and it is convenient for them that much of the attention is
on her, understandably. Except that if she is queen bee, she could exert
more power? She should use her voice, that's true, and she hasn't,
and that's deeply disappointing. But what we really need to do urgently
is to apply serious pressure through the international media and the
international community and the United Nations on the military,
because they are prosecuting these murders, they have killed thousands
and thousands of people, half a million people have been displaced
and art in refugee camps in Chittagong in Bangladesh. Thousands
of people have been displaced. This remark about fake news is shocking.
But the focus has got to be on holding the military rulers to
account, because they're still calling the shots. However, who are
the ones to put Russia on Burma? I wonder if there is the possibility
that all of those people, Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, should be
shaming her into standing up to the military? What I would say is that
she needs to stand up to the military, but the international
community and Western leaders need to stand up to Burma's military. The
United Kingdom, I coordinated a letter to Boris Johnson last year
after the last episode of violence that resulted in thousands of people
being killed and displaced and we got a response from a junior
minister. This time he took a good few days before he made a statement,
which was pretty tame, frankly. And we are still providing military
training, spending hundreds of thousands of pounds, and those
issues need to be reviewed. It's questionable whether that kind of
effort is actually going to work, because it's not so far, the
military are doing nothing but causing greater harm and prosecuting
murder. Do you think that now and forever more, Ang Sang Suu Kyi's
reputation is tainted? Absolutely, but the reputation of the country
overall is tainted. We've got to exact rate pressure both on her and
on the military. Thank you for joining us.
It's been just 24 hours since the Home Office plans
for immigration post-Brexit were leaked by the Guardian.
Under the draft plan, firms would have to recruit locally
unless they could prove an "economic need" to employ EU citizens.
Now, we must emphasise that the Government has said these
plans are just a draft, and since it was put together,
there have been six more versions of the plan.
Still, firms that rely on EU workers have warned of the "catastrophic"
impact of the proposals and the "massive disruption"
David Grossman has been taking a look.
How many copies, Hauman experiments and how much fruit did EU migrants
provide Britain with today? The Brexit folk show that for many, the
rate and scale of EU migration has been too great -- Brexit vote. How
to cut it without damaging the economy is a difficult balancing
act. Thanks to a leak in a policy document, we have clues now as to
what Whitehawk is thinking. It is only a draft so I suspect it will go
to a few changes but it is broadly on the right lines. It is to be
welcomed, if implemented as proposed, and we would see a
considerable significant reduction in the numbers coming from the EU
which is what people broadly voted for a year ago. According to the
document, the unrestricted flows of EU migrants will come to an end. In
the future they will blow builder to allowing only those who make a
valuable contribution -- they will be filtered. That will be on skills
and salary and social impact. To be considered valuable to the country
as a whole it says that immigration should benefit not just the migrants
themselves but also make extinct residents better off. -- existing
residents. The government says it will not comment on the substance of
the league. We are told this is an old draft, but Theresa May was clear
today that post Brexit much will have to change. We continue to
believe that it is important to have net migration at sustainable levels,
the tens of thousands, because of the impact particularly it has on
people at the lower end of the income scale in depressing wages.
But some economists say there is little evidence that EU migrants
suppressed wages. Britain needs overseas workers because
unemployment is low and there is no obvious alternative to the workers,
they say. The employers we have spoken to have talked about
targeting former offenders, women going back to the labour market
after a period out of work, always talking about school leavers. They
are desperately trying to tap into those sources of labour but the fact
is that those sectors have always employed migrants and always been an
attractive to British workers said it is hard to see how any group or
even set of groups is going to meet employers need if there was a
reduction in EU migration. Workers would, according to the document, be
treated differently based on their level of skill. Higher skilled
workers would have the chance to come to the UK for three to five
years while lower skilled workers would just have to years residency
and rights to bring family and this could be restricted. Employers who
still had to recruit low skilled workers from abroad might have been
paid a skilled tax to help train UK workers. The implication is that
employers might have just pay a bit more to attract UK workers. None of
our research suggests that the reason we can't get workers is
because of pay, there are cultural issues white UK workers do not want
to do these jobs. We can work on that. There might be scope in the
future for looking at automation and technology at an answer to replacing
some of these jobs but the facts on the ground are that overseas workers
currently primarily from the EU make up a lot of these jobs. Agriculture
and horticulture rely on them at the moment. Even in high skilled sectors
like sound and research which would supposedly be favoured in the new
system, there is concern. Our scientific workforce in the UK is
made up of a wide range of people from all over the world and a wide
spectrum of different talents and skills, from the technicians and
from the early career researchers right through to professors and
CEOs. The risk of putting salary and other criteria like qualifications
on a migration system is that you may inadvertently cut out access to
the UK from some of those people. You could have a Ph.D. In science
and be extremely expert in your field and not meet the current
salary threshold for migrants from outside the EU which is around
?21,000 a year. Immigration is where two Brexit realities collide, want
economic and one political. Picking its way through this is one of the
most significant challenges faced by the government.
Our political editor, Nick Watt, is here.
This has caused quite a reaction. London method of Khan said it would
strangle the London clinic and Nicky Morgan said she was concerned about
it. The significance of this if it is the first definitive account of
how the UK will seek to control immigration when we have left the EU
and as David was saying, it will be a relatively benign system for
higher skilled workers but there will be more restrictions for low
skilled workers. It was interesting to date, Jeremy Corbyn was silent on
this. I spoke to a number of pro-European Tories and one
pro-European cabinet member said that they hope that when people look
at this they will seek that it is not that bad, quite soft, and it
seeks to answer the dilemma. How do you take back control of immigration
and bring the numbers down but do it in a way that does not harm the
economy? One thing I have learned this evening, an idea from this
draft that has been absolutely rejected is that in the transition
period immediately after we leave the EU there is an idea for EU
citizens who want to stay in the UK for a little longer would have to
give their fingerprints. I spoke to a senior cabinet member who said
absolutely no way, that is out. What about the idea of transitional
arrangements? What does this tell us? Overlooked in this document is
the most detailed account of how the government will deal and manage with
this transitional period which is officially known as the
implementation phase. Ministers are been quite cagey about saying how
much it'll last. In this document it says it will last for at least two
years and, on the rules for migration in that transition period,
they hug the rules on EU free movement very closely. If talks
about how you would have to register, that is consistent with EU
law and in fact that is the rule that applies in Germany. It is
interesting, there is a Cabinet committee that oversees this
negotiation, six members, and they recently agreed there should be this
transition which is following on from the intimidation phase outlined
in Theresa May's Lancaster House speech. They did not agree the
timing but what I have learned is that Boris Johnson is pushing back
and he is saying, make sure this last no longer than one year. That
is not what is in this document. State but because I will come back
to you. -- stay put. Well, one of the key sectors
that could be affected by these leaked proposals
is hospitality and tourism. 4.6 million people
work in the industry, an estimated 700,000
of which are from Joining me now is Ufi Ibrahim,
the chief executive of the British Hospitality
Association. Good evening. I know that the
hospitality industry has been kicking up today but you would say
that because, in a sense, a lot of what you do survives on cheap labour
and a lot of European nationals are prepared to come and work for the
lowest wages within the law. The Prime Minister talked today about
depressing wages by employing EU nationals but there is no evidence
to support that and in fact the evidence suggests otherwise. The
truth is that in the United Kingdom at the moment we have the lowest
level of unemployment that we have had for the past 40 years. Any
further southern or material change to the supply of labour to the UK
workforce would be significantly damaging for an industry that
already find it very difficult to find people to actually employed
here in the workforce. Perhaps it is because the conditions are not
attractive enough in that there is not enough support and training and
I would put it that perhaps the hospitality industry has been quite
lazy because they're rather half a million unemployed between 18 and
24, and actually you could encourage them more through colleges and
on-the-job training but it is easier to pick up an incredibly
enthusiastic person from Europe who speaks three languages and is
prepared to work long hours and for low pay. At an industry we reject
the argument that the British individual is not attractive to work
in our industry. What are you doing to attract them? Our industry
employs 3.2 million people directly in the UK, 700,000 of which are EU
nationals. 75% of waiters are from outside the UK. Going back to the
original question, in our industry we have serious numbers of people
who started out at the entry level and have made it to being the senior
executives in the business and in fact two thirds of all senior level
executives in the industry started with very little qualifications and
experience and started at that low level which proves the point that
the industry is actually one of the great meritocracy is of the UK. Huge
training possibilities and development possibilities. That is
the opposite to one of the contributors of the film who said
they found it hard to attract UK born people do these jobs. It
suggests that with a bit more effort you could employ British people in
British jobs as it were. I think the reality is that all businesses
including the hospitality industry have come to rely on the strategic
advantage of being able to have an EU workforce. That is an absolute
reality. But it is also... The experience of most people I would
suggest is that those workers are extremely good. But the point is
that has allowed you to sit back and say, we are not going to do as much
as we could. You are talking about taking ten years as it were to fill
the gap but you have known since last June, this has been
accelerating what you do to attract local workforce. For the past three
years we have been the only industry in the UK is leading campaigns like
the big conversation which have created 67,000 new career starts for
British youngsters under 25 also Berra very few industries in the UK
that have gone the extra mile to be able to attract those sort of
individuals -- there are very few. But the point is that in the UK
there is a fundamental issue around vocational education will stop
government cannot push the whole burden of the private sector, they
must accept responsibility... What do you want the government to do to
change the way that kind of education is delivered? At the
centre is launching any proposal for immigration policy, the UK
Government must ensure that they consider a holistic mix of policies
that will be required to ensure that industries like ours will not be
harmed and that includes educational policy. The Department for Education
must come forward and propose ways in which they will promote
vocational education and I want to give you an example of something
which we are very concerned about. We were dismayed when the levels
were announced and the government said they were postponing the
introduction of T-levels in the UK, the equivalent to a levels in
vocational education, to prepare an industry like ours and that has been
postponed to 2090 and furthermore they have said our industry will not
be integrated into the T-levels in the first round. -- 2019. How was it
possible that the government that is serious about making Brexit success
is not willing to provide the whole mix of policies that industries like
ours need to do that? Thank you for joining us.
What is good to happen with the EU withdrawal bill tomorrow? -- going
to happen. It is highly likely it will get a second reading, Labour
will vote against it but the pro-Europeans in the Tories are
keeping their powder dry for when the bill is considered at committee
stage after the conference season in October. Interestingly it had been
assumed that might be the high noon moment when they try to amend the
bill to but the single market element in there. They are not going
to do that, they are going to concentrate on one key area, what
they regard as a power grab by the government. When all this EU law is
brought on to the UK Statute book, when there are thousands of delusion
that might need to be taped as they will be done through the so-called
Henry VIII clauses, ie by ministers without a debate in Parliament and
they will focus on that. Tory whips are reasonably confident they should
survive this and it will go through in October. Thank you.
There has not been a storm like it for three decades.
Hurricane Irma is making its treacherous way,
with winds of 185mph and gusts of 220mph
battering the Caribbean islands, heading to Puerto Rico,
Haiti and onto Cuba and Florida, where storm surges could be 11ft.
Earlier this evening, we managed to get through to Rupert Passat,
who is holed up with his family in the capital
We had a great view of the main harbour at Road Town on Tortola.
What does it look like when you can see out?
Well now we are actually still partially in the storm.
Where they keep all the catamarans and what have you, it is all smashed
and they're all piled on top of each other.
Because the eye of the hurricane has come straight through Road Town
harbour, so we got the first half, so to speak, of the hurricane.
And we didn't really know what to expect.
We were jumping from one room to another.
We set up in one of the bathrooms and heard lots of noises,
water started coming through the ceilings, so we vacated
that room and went into the living room and we ended up
What were the authorities telling you to do?
There's been plenty of advice and warnings.
There's the Department of Disaster Management which has
been texting and e-mailing everyone, just to make sure that
I mean it was crazy, it was total mayhem.
What was it like when you were actually in the bathroom
with the children and you could hear it battering?
At the beginning, we were just sort of, not casual about it but just
not really expecting what was going to happen.
Now we can see what's happened, all the trees have gone.
As I say, all the boats are all smashed up.
We had at least five days to plan for this.
Obviously, we got plenty of water, provisions, the odd drop of red
wine and managed to get a bottle of Glenfiddich.
But it's actually been so serious that we haven't really had a chance
If you don't mind me saying, Rupert, you do sound quite traumatised.
I am, yeah, stressful, very stressful experience.
It's hard to understand or to know how they're going to clear this up.
And are you managing to keep in touch with friends roundabout?
I must say, I must say, the one thing that we've been able
And what do you think happens next for you and the family?
Well, I think, if I just take a breath, I think
the next few days here and obviously regroup,
the is plenty of water that has come into the apartment.
By the looks of it, as we look down on to the capital
I just don't know where to start with this.
I think they're going to need external help to be honest.
I've never seen such devastation to be honest.
There are 50ft catamarans in the bay that have been turned over.
I'm very relieved, even though the storm is still here and it's
still hammering down, but we feel that we've seen the worst
We go to great lengths on Newsnight to bring
but occasionally, we reluctantly cede a bit of airtime to
Tonight we bring you an exclusive jam and interview with one-time
and a hugely successful songwriter and producer.
One of his early LP covers listed Edward de Bono,
the father of lateral thinking, among the credits.
And Stewart's own thoughts have been sought out by such movers
and shakers as Charles Saatchi, Richard Branson
On the eve of some rare concert dates in the UK
to mark his 65th birthday, Dave Stewart has been talking
I very rarely have played live in England.
And I'm going to the Sunderland Empire and playing live,
where I've never played since I was about 16 or 17.
So, that is obviously going to be pretty emotional for me.
# Falling on my head like a new emotion...
When you're an ultimate rock insider like Dave Stewart,
you can fly over the best session musicians from the States
for your homecoming gigs and rehearse them in a huge studio
in the basement of a London hotel which you just
Stewart has come a long way from the early days
of The Eurythmics, when a lack of funds led to inspired
Annie and I, in a boardroom with, like, gold albums...
Sort of juxtapose it and inject some kind of, you know, flip it.
A cow comes walking in the boardroom, like a huge cow,
which is very difficult to get the cow to do this.
Because you couldn't sort of key it in in those days.
Cow, yeah, wandering around and Annie was
We didn't want to do anything that had anything to do
And they put it on in MTV in America and it just exploded
at the same time as the single was going up the charts.
And this video was just on like every bloody 15
minutes or something, so Annie and I arrived
and it was like being a newscaster or something when you're on every
night but you're on like 20 times a day.
I'm sure many of our viewers who have fond memories
of The Eurythmics would wonder, is it possible you will do
something together, an album, a short tour, what do you think?
I think Annie and I will be joined at the hip for ever.
# Who's that girl running around with you
We're bound to do something, and in what shape or form it
But yeah, I would say we definitely will.
Stewart has written for and collaborated with everyone
# There's nothing wrong with you I can't fix #.
And his original way of thinking has been sought out
Listen, Nelson Mandela wants to talk to you on the phone.
And there was a speakerphone and it was like...
Like nerve-racking, and he came on the phone and he was very funny.
And then he was talking about, you know, he wanted to turn the most
negative number in his life of 30 odd years, a prison number,
he was only called by 46664, he wanted to turn it
And I said, what about making it a telephone number?
And then Nelson Mandela himself made the message when you rang it,
"Hello, this is Nelson Mandela" and blah blah.
And the longer they stayed on the phone, the more
they were donating to launch, you know, the foundation.
Is there any truth in the story that you once entertained the notion that
dogs might be able to talk, and you could investigate that
I once had the notion that hairless cats could possibly talk and be very
I didn't get too far with it, no, because when I announced this idea
at a press conference with Annie in Australia, I just
was talking about it and then we arrived in New Zealand
and the Hairless Cat Society turned up to meet me.
No, they weren't keen, they thought I was, you know,
kind of taking the Mickey out of them.
And if you fancy catching Dave Stewart live, he's
at the Shepherd's Bush Empire on Friday and
Before we go, another reminder of Hurricane Irma,
the worst Atlantic storm in nearly four decades, still
heading towards Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida.
Terrifying and destructive as it is, though, some Caribbean
islanders are apparently determined to keep calm and carry on.