25 August 2021 — London/Yangon — On the fourth anniversary of the Rohingya Genocide on 25 August the international community should not only reflect on the atrocities committed against the Rohingya but should actively work to establish a new Burma which will be inclusive to the Rohingya as citizens of recognized ethnicity with equal rights in the country.
While many see Burma’s 1st February Coup as an issue that side-lines the long-standing grievances of minorities in the country, we should instead consider this crisis as a chance to bring about meaningful change to the country. While there is no easy answer to dislodge the military from their illegitimate power, the movements to do so have involved tremendous unity among all the people of Burma. While taking measures to sanction and defang the Burmese military, the international community must also help the National Unity Government to become a viable, equitable, and human-rights-centered entity. The only way to make meaning of the suffering so many have endured is to use it to inform those in power on how to make a better country for all
said BHRN’s Executive Director, Kyaw Win.
The Genocide of the Rohingya resulted in one of the largest mass exoduses in the world. Over a million Rohingya now living in squalid refugee camps in Bangladesh, waiting for the chance to safely return home with dignity. However, since the Burmese military seized power of the country on 1st February, the Rohingya issue has been put on the backburner. BHRN believes the current situation requires solidarity from Burmese people of every religious and ethnic background in order for democracy and justice to be successful. The international community, particularly the UN and ASEAN, must do everything within their power to support those efforts. Clearly, any efforts should not legitimise the illegitimate fascist military that overthrown a democratically elected government.
BHRN calls on all nations of the world to recognize the attacks on the Rohingya in 2017 as a Genocide. BHRN calls on the US, EU, UK, UN, and ASEAN to recognize the National Unity Government as the legitimate representatives of the Burmese people. These same nations must also hold the NUG accountable and work with them to form policies and actions that will ensure that the Rohingya can return to Burma where they will be greeted with ethnic recognition, citizenship, and full and equal rights. The NUG must commit to these issues and present detailed plans and timelines for how they will achieve these goals once they return to power in Burma. At the same time, the international community must support the cases against the Burmese military at the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice to ensure that the Rohingya may get justice for the crimes committed against them. The NUG must similarly support these cases and offer their full cooperation.
BHRN is based in London and operates across Burma/Myanmar working for human rights, minority rights and religious freedom in the country. BHRN has played a crucial role in advocating for human rights and religious freedom with politicians and world leaders.
Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
T: +44(0) 740 345 2378