Instant Opinion: has the world ‘forgotten’ the Rohingya?

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Tuesday 20 August


The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. David Skinner in the South China Morning Post

on turning a blind eye to Myanmar’s human rights abuses

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Two years on, has the world forgotten the Rohingya children?

“The cliché – sadly often associated with refugees – is starting to be heard that the Rohingya children are becoming a lost generation. But they are not lost. The world knows where they are. They need support now to ensure they can learn, that they are safe, and they are healthy. They must not be forgotten. To do so would not be acceptable. Rohingya children must also have a sense of hope: something to suggest that they will one day be able to fulfil their aspirations. The government and people of Bangladesh have done a great global good in sheltering the Rohingya population the last two years. They need continued support from across the world.”

2. Christian Leuprecht and Todd Hataley in The Globe and Mail

on the West’s repatriation of Islamic State fighters

If Jihadi Jack comes home, Canada only has itself to blame

“If the rule of law is to apply equally to all Canadian citizens, then those believed to have committed listed terrorist offences seeking to return to Canada should be treated no differently than any other person believed to have committed an offence, with the exception that their re-entry into the country can only be guaranteed if a suitable surety presents her/himself. Canadians should not have to bear the costs and risks of repatriating and supporting individuals who are suspected of terrorist offences abroad. Canadian law deals forthrightly with people believed to have committed offences. Why would these cases be any different?”

3. Suzanne Moore in The Guardian

on the joys of getting old

Why does no one ever tell you how brilliant ageing can be?

“Some of us will die of diseases that are genetic. Some will look better than we did when we were young. Most of us do just fine. Wear a bikini. Don’t wear a bikini. Really, I do think there are bigger things to think about (and I don’t mean a forgiving one-piece). If you want Carol Vorderman’s arse and Lana Del Rey’s lips and Kim Kardashian’s waist, I can’t help you. If you think a knee lift will change your life, well, good luck. If you think you can stay for ever young, I have some breaking news.”

4. James Marriott in The Times

on Quentin Tarantino’s sickly nostalgia

Say good riddance to worship of the Sixties

“The 1960s are easy to mythologise. Just listen to the music. The era that produced the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan must have been a golden age. I’m hardly immune: I was born in 1992 but much of the cultural oxygen I breathe unthinkingly every day is pumped straight out of the Sixties. On my commute this morning I listened to Bob Dylan’s album Blonde on Blonde (1966). Earlier in the year I went to a rock festival (an idea born in 1967). A couple of weeks ago I found myself interviewing a debut author about the ways her book responded to Philip Roth’s novel Portnoy’s Complaint (1969). But the ubiquity (and I admit, dazzling brilliance) of Sixties music and literature has drawn some cultural critics to make absurdly grand claims for the decade’s importance. It’s true that many modern ideas about sex, drugs and individualism were forged then, but to read some of the books on the subject you’d think the laws of human nature had been permanently rewritten in 1968.”

5. Sarah Arnold in The Independent

on the royal family’s recent private jet jaunts

Harry and Meghan, stop being hypocrites – no amount of celebrity fawning will cover up your carbon footprint

“These celebrities share on social media that they’re going plastic-free. They share photos of their #MeatfreeMonday. They do this because it looks good. It’s great for public image but I’ll call a hypocrite out when I see one. And Harry and Meghan are hypocrites. Yes, they have said they’ll only(!) have two children and that for environmental reasons, having one fewer child is the best thing we can do to reduce emissions, but when they’re shown to be flying around the world constantly, I find these words to be empty. If they were passionate about the environment, they’d significantly reduce their flying time. It can’t be one rule for us mere plebs and another for the literally high-flying celebrities and royals.”

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