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.

Burmese President Thein Sein (right) meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Yangon last year.

Burma’s Broken Commitments: Thein Sein’s 11 Promises to Obama

November 5, 2014

He Did! Obama Says Rohingya

November 14, 2014
  • Jane

    Before this I have never heard of these people. But my mother’s family in Europe had 246 people at the beginning of WW2; at the end there were only 3 survivors left. As luck would have it, we were here but my mother’s heart was broken because her family was murdered simply because they were Jews. The Rohinga do not have to go down that horrible road. There has to be a stop to this insanity.

  • Serene Myanmar

    Jane, there is no Rohinga. The name is made up by themselves. They are actually illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. They are not among one of the ethnic groups of Burma. Their real name is ” Bengali”. Can’t understand why the medias keep saying the government and citizens of Myanmar are killing them while in real life, they are the ones who keep killing all the time. What a shame “media people”!!! Are you trying to raise money for yourselves by poisoning the people with your lies or trying to create the massacres by false information? Ask yourselves if you are even ethical!!!

    • Salim M

      SERENE Myanmar , Can you please explain what is the meaning of illegal Immigrants?

  • Saif Ali Khan

    Thanks . Salim M . Ita a good question. My comments will follow soon.

  • Saif Ali Khan

    We Rohingya Muslims are in fact the indigenous race of Myanmar. We were recognized by the first constitution of the Union of Burma and the first democratically elected government of Burma as full fledged citizens of this country like other 144 indigenous races. And we were recognized by our founding father of this nation General Aung San who was also the father of DASSK,the Nobel Peace Laureate when he came to us with a blank check to Arakan in 1947, promising us that Rohingya Muslims will live together as long as this country survives. And the first democratically elected Prime Minister U Nu called us by our name Rohingya, so did the first democratically elected President of Union of Burma, Sai Shwe Thike and he said ; ‘ If the Rohingya Muslims of Burma are not the citizens of this country then I myself is not entitled to be the citizen of this country. We also had Rohingya language program in the then Burma Broadcasting Service Ethnic Minority Programs.. We were mentioned in the pages of the Sarpay Beikman Burmese Encyclopedia. There are hundreds of other documents to prove that we are bonafide citizens of this country under the constitution.The UN says that Rohingyas are the worst persecuted minority in the world and all the 193 member countries of the UN recognize us as Rohingyas except Myanmar who defiantly says we are Bengalis, illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, You can see this is genocide. Mass killings, religious persecution , demolition of 350 year old mosque and destroying the ancient inscriptions, relics and scriptures from the Mrauk U caves and also destroying religious places of worship around Myanmar, keeping our people in squalid Concentration camps treating us as animals, denying all access to humanitarian aid. Is this not genocide or what? This is an Apartheid regime where there is no human rights for the Rohingyas.
    Most recently,on November 20, 2014 the Burmese Parliament passed the Resolution that the white card holders are not eligible to vote in the forthcoming election to be held in May, 2015. these white cards were issued by the government after confiscating the green National Registration cards with a promise that after four months they would be substituted with the genuine Citizen Scrutinizing Pink Cards like other citizens. UN FINANCED THIS PROJECT IN 1996. iT WAS A PRE-PLANNED CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE ROHINGYAS. This promise of Pink cards was never fulfilled. And now they say the white card holders are all Bengalis, illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and barring them from voting in the forthcoming election, All citizens including white card bearers were entitled to vote in the last election of 2008. Now under the threat and pressure of a few Bangladfeshi Maughs who are leading the influential party RNDP by the so called ‘ DR ‘.Aye Maung. The situation in Arakan is in the boiling point for the Rohingyas. From 2014 November 20, the hired Buddhist Rakhines are on the streets demonstrating against Mr Ban Ki Moon for calling Rohingyas as Rohingyas. They are threatening to exterminate all the Rohingyas from their land, Arakan is our Motherland too . It is our Ancestral homeland since 8th century C.E. and they label us as Aliens from Bangladesh. Anarchy and arson is going on in Sittwe.the capital of Rahkine state and in Buthidaung and Maungdaw where the majority are Rohingya Muslims. The situation is very critical for the Rohingyas.unless the international community seek an emergency sotution to this humanitarian crisis before its too late !

    Saif Ali Khan
    Hamlet West Arakan,
    2014 November 25