After the Holocaust, the world went on to witness Cambodia, Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Darfur and many other cases of genocide and mass atrocities. It is extremely rare for the international community to be able to recognize and prevent acts of genocide.
But for Burma’s Rohingya it’s not too late. Despite having lived in Burma for decades, 1.3 million Rohingya in Burma are considered “foreigners” by the Burmese government that believes they are illegal Bengali migrants. Denied citizenship, the Rohinya are forced to live in apartheid conditions where they are unable to work, travel, marry or have children without permission.
As Burma’s government continues to deny their existence and persecute the Rohingya, the precursors to genocide are loud and clear. The need for the United States and international community to act immediately is critical. When President Obama travels to Burma on November 12, he will meet with President Thein Sein and have the opportunity to recognize the Rohingya and demand their protection.
‘Rohingya’ is not just a name, it is 1.3 million people and a culture at risk of being erased. Watch and then urge President Obama to #JustSayTheirName.
Photos: Marta Tucci, Javier Arcenillas (c) Used with permission.
Audio: Hybrid Source by Spuntic under Creative Commons license.