In advance of a regional meeting to discuss the Rohingya crisis in Southeast Asia, United to End Genocide, a U.S. based human rights advocacy group, called on participants to address the root cause of the crisis – the threat of genocide that is driving desperate Rohingya families to flee western Burma.
“Denial of the brutal reality for hundreds of thousands of Rohingya in Burma must not be an option at the Bangkok summit. Doing so could be a death sentence for those imperiled by a march to genocide.” said former U.S. Congressman Tom Andrews, President of United to End Genocide, who recently returned from Burma and Malaysia where he met with families of Rohingya who fled Burma by boat.
This is a humanitarian crisis that demands action, not denial, by Summit participants and observers. Being bullied into silence by the government of Burma – or failing to call the Rohingya by their name – will only aid and abet those behind this catastrophe.
The lives at risk at sea and the discovery of over 100 mass graves in human trafficking camps are just the latest horrific manifestation of the treatment of the Rohingya.
With at least 100,000 Rohingya fleeing Burma by boat over the past few years it is clear: as long as Burma continues its policies of persecution, the number of trafficking victims will continue to rise.
Expressions of shock by U.S. government officials and pressuring Burma’s neighbors to take in the Rohingya is only a temporary fix.
What the U.S. administration should be doing is what they have been reluctant to do, confronting the source of this hell – the failure of the government of Burma to stop its systematic repression and endangerment of 1.3 million innocent people because of their ethnicity and the God who they pray to.
If the Obama administration truly wants to end the crisis, it should take a clear public stand against the government of Burma’s repression of the Rohingya, impose sanctions against those behind the violence, degrade Burma’s Trafficking in Persons designation, and end the movement toward greater military-to-military relations.
And, it should say the name of the most persecuted ethnic minority on earth – the Rohingya of Burma.”
To read United to End Genocide’s report, “Marching to Genocide in Burma” visit: http://endgenocide.org/marching-genocide-burma-2/