Solidarity For Rohingya on Genocide Remembrance Day

September 6th, 2021  •  Author:   Progressive Voice  •  9 minute read
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“it is imperative that the international community pursue justice and accountability for the grave crimes committed against the Rohingya, including by supporting the case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice, the case before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the case at the court in Argentina that was filed on the basis of universal jurisdiction.”

This year, 25 August marked the 4th year of remembrance for the genocide against the Rohingya in Rakhine State. Unlike previous years, the public display of solidarity this year for the Rohingya was remarkable and encouraging, and this has certainly strengthened the solidarity among the diverse peoples of Myanmar. This collective solidarity has harnessed a renewed push to hold the Myanmar military accountable for their past and ongoing crimes.

Four years ago, on 25 August 2017, the Myanmar military launched a campaign of terror against the Rohingya in the name of a “clearance operation” in Rakhine State. During the clearance operation, the military committed atrocities against Rohingya including murdering children, gang rape, torture, forced displacement, arbitrary arrests, and burned villages to ashes. The Myanmar military’s clearance campaign led to the displacement of over 800,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh. Thousands were killed, including Kaman and other Muslim minorities. In the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (IIFFMM)’s 2018 report, “the mission concluded there were reasonable grounds for an inference that the Myanmar military’s attacks against the Rohingya population is genocidal intent.” The IIFFMM called for investigations and prosecutions of certain individuals (military generals) who have committed the crime of genocide under international criminal law and called on the international community to cut financial ties with the military.

In solidarity with the Rohingya on 25 August, courageous young women in Mandalay and several other towns marched on the street with banners expressing their solidarity and calling for justice for Rohingya women in spite of the risk of violent attacks and arrest by the military junta. Myanmar civil society organizations (CSOs) released statements, women’s organizations sent solidarity letters to Rohingya brothers and sisters, online panel discussions including a campaign petition calling for “National Apology” were conducted, and the National Unity Government (NUG) released a statement on the 4th year anniversary of atrocity crimes against Rohingya. These are all signs of hope for a future, all-inclusive federal democratic country, where there will be equality for all without discrimination. In a joint statement, 45 Myanmar CSOs pledged “to seek justice for the Rohingya and to heal the wounds of long-running ethnic and religious persecution in Myanmar.” The joint statement also called for the full restoration of the rights of Rohingya, pledged to work for justice and accountability and to end the impunity of the Myanmar military.

In addition, the NUG has recently announced that “Acting President Duwa Lashi La lodged a declaration with the registrar of the International Criminal Court (ICC), accepting the Court’s jurisdiction with respect to the international crimes committed in Myanmar territory since 1 July 2002, which is the earliest date permitted by the Rome Statute.” The announcement further stated, “the declaration was lodged in accordance with article 12 (3) of the Statue of the ICC, which enables a State not party to the Rome Statute to accept the exercise of Jurisdiction of the Court.” NUG submitted the declaration to the Registrar of the Court on 17 July 2021 and is currently waiting for further consideration from the Court. This is a positive and encouraging step taken by the NUG to end the culture of impunity enjoyed by the Myanmar military for decades.

Such signs are positive, not only for the Rohingya but also for other ethnic communities who, for decades, have suffered grave human rights violations by the same institution – the Myanmar military. For decades, the military has used the four cuts strategy when waging wars against ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) in ethnic areas, committing similar patterns of gross and widespread systematic human rights violations against ethnic communities as perpetrated against the Rohingya. Lately, there are signs of increased militarization in ethnic areas, and fighting has significantly escalated in Karen, Kachin and Karenni States between EAOs and its allies and the Myanmar military. The recent Internet cut in Kachin State by the military junta since 20 August could be a signal that the military is planning to commit atrocity crimes in this area. Such blackouts were observed in Rakhine State between 2017 and 2019 during military operations that lead to high civilian casualties. In addition, Myanmar Now reported that six of the seven regions controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU) have observed continued fighting in recent weeks between the Myanmar military and the KNU’s armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). Serious concerns loom for further displacement and more loss of lives of the people in Karen state and other ethnic areas. Since the attempted coup, over a quarter of a million people have been displaced due to the offensive campaigns launched by the Myanmar military in Karen, Kachin, Karenni, Shan and Chin States.

To echo the calls made by Myanmar CSOs, it is imperative that the international community pursue justice and accountability for the grave crimes committed against the Rohingya, including by supporting the case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice, the case before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the case at the court in Argentina that was filed on the basis of universal jurisdiction. The international community must also continue to explore other avenues for full justice and accountability for the Rohingya and all people of Myanmar, including the possibility of establishing an ad-hoc tribunal or a UN Security Council referral of the situation in Myanmar to the ICC.

Furthermore, while recent moves by the NUG are positive first steps, it must take further steps to apply all available international instruments and mechanisms to end gross human rights violations unfolding in the country by the Myanmar military, including immediately ratifying the Rome Statute of the ICC to ensure accountability for the crime of genocide, war crimes and crime against humanity. The NUG and the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw must acknowledge the crimes of genocide against the Rohingya, and immediately repeal the discriminatory 1982 Citizenship Law and abolish the National Verification Process as well as the four “Race and Religion Protection Laws”. This is the time for justice and accountability to prevail for the Rohingya and all people of Myanmar. If it is not now, then when?


[1] One year following the 1988 pro-democracy uprising, the former military junta changed the country’s name from Burma to Myanmar overnight. Progressive Voice uses the term ‘Myanmar’ in acknowledgement that most people of the country use this term. However, the deception of inclusiveness and the historical process of coercion by the former State Peace and Development Council military regime into usage of ‘Myanmar’ rather than ‘Burma’ without the consent of the people is recognized and not forgotten. Thus, under certain circumstances, ‘Burma’ is used.

Resources from the past week


Statements and Press Releases

ရိုဟင်ဂျာတို့၏အခွင့်အရေးများ အပြည့်အဝ ပြန်လည်ရရှိရေး နှင့် မြန်မာစစ်တပ်၏ ပြစ်ဒဏ်ကင်းလွတ်ခွင့်အား အဆုံးသတ်ရန် မြန်မာ CSO များက တောင်းဆိုခြင်း

By 45 Myanmar Civil Society Organizations

Myanmar CSOs Call for the Full Restoration of Rohingya’s Rights and an End to Impunity of the Myanmar military

By 45 Myanmar Civil Society Organizations

End the Impunity of the Myanmar military, Fully Restore Rohingya’s Rights

By 45 Myanmar Civil Society Organizations

မြန်မာစစ်တပ်၏ ပြစ်ဒဏ်ပေးအရေးယူခံရမှု ကင်းလွတ်ခွင့်ကို အဆုံးသတ်ရမည်၊ ရိုဟင်ဂျာများ၏အခွင့်အရေးများ အပြည့်အဝ ပြန်လည်ရရှိ‌ရမည်

By 45 Myanmar Civil Society Organizations

Justice and Inclusion for the Rohingya Cannot Wait and ရိုဟင်ဂျာများအတွက် တရားမျှတမှုနှင့် ထည့်သွင်းပါဝင်ရေးတို့ကို ချက်ချင်းဆောင်ရွက်ရမည်။

By Asia Justice and Rights ,  Sisters2Sisters, Perlindungan Insani Indonesia, KontraS, KontraS Aceh, The May 18 Memorial Foundation, Cross Cultural Foundation, Kurawal Foundation, Migrant CARE, Milk Tea Alliance Indonesia, SP Kinasih Solidaritas Perempuan, YLBHI, Asia Democratic Network, Advocacy Forum, Suara Perempuan Desa (SPD – Rural Women Voices) ,  Kachin Women’s Association Thailand and Asosiasaun Chega! Ba Ita (ACbit)

Rohingya Genocide 4th Anniversary: Raab Refuses to Act on Accountability

By Burma Campaign UK

On Anniversary of Rohingya Genocide the World Must Enable a New Inclusive Burma

By Burma Human Rights Network

မဟာမိတ်ပြုလုပ်ကြောင်း သဘောထားထုတ်ပြန်ချက်

By Chinland Defense Force – Mindat, Chinland Defense Force Kanpetlet, Chin National Organization and Zomi Federal Union

Chinland Defense Force – Kanpetlet ၏ သတင်းထုတ်ပြန်ချက်

By Chinland Defense Force – Kanpetlet

Joint Statement on Rohingya Genocide Day

By Champions of Change, Education & Wisdom Development for Rohingya Women, Rohingya Refugee Committee, Rohingya Women Education Initiative, Rohingya Youth for Legal Action, Rohingya Youth Unity Team, Voice of Rohingya, Rohingya Student Union, Arakan Rohingya National Union and Rohingya Women Empowerment and Advocacy Network

ပြည်ထောင်စုလွှတ်တော်ကိုယ်စားပြုကော်မတီ ကြေညာချက်အမှတ်၊ (၃၇/၂၀၂၁) – အမျိုးသားညီညွတ်ရေးအစိုးရ ပြည်ထောင်စုဝန်ကြီး ခန့်အပ်တာဝန်ပေးခြင်း

By Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw

New Film “EXODUS” Provides Unique Window into Lives of Rohingya Refugees

By Fortify Rights

Atrocity Alert No. 267: Afghanistan, Niger and Myanmar (Burma)

By Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

A Letter to Rohingya sisters from Karen Women’s organization

By Karen Women’s Organization

ကရင်နီပြည်နယ်ရဲ (Karenni State Police – KSP) ဖွဲ့စည်းပြီးကြောင်းထုတ်ပြန်ချက်

By Karenni State Consultative Council


By Karenni Nationalities Defense Force

Statement of the National Unity Government of Myanmar on the 4th anniversary of the atrocity crimes committed against the Rohingya people in 2017

By National Unity Government

Ministry of Planning, Finance and Investment Announcement No. 9/2021 – Announcement on Illicit Printing of Banknotes

By National Unity Government (Ministry of Planning, Finance and Investment)

အမျိုးသားညီညွတ်ရေးအစိုးရ လျှပ်စစ်နှင့်စွမ်းအင်ဝန်ကြီးဌာန အမိန့်ကြော်ငြာစာအမှတ် (၁၁/၂၀၂၁)

By National Unity Government (Ministry of Electricity and Energy)

Announcement on Formation of Advisory Board

By National Unity Government (Ministry of Human Rights)

ပြည်သူ့ကာကွယ်ရေးတပ်ဖွဲ့ (ဂန့်ဂေါ) ၏ တိုက်ပွဲသတင်းထုတ်ပြန်ချက် – ထုတ်ပြန်ချက်အမှတ် ( ၀၃၊ ၂၀၂၁)

By People’s Defence Force – Gangaw

Remembering the Rohingya Genocide

By Special Advisory Council for Myanmar

Statement by the Spring Revolution Interfaith Network – Statement No.2/2021

By The Spring Revolution Interfaith Network

Marking the Fourth Anniversary of the Ethnic Cleansing in Rakhine State

By United States Department of State

Solidarity Message to our Rohingya Sisters and Brothers

By Women’s League of Burma

Press Release | Rohingya Genocide Remembrance Day Panel Discussion: “What does Justice Mean for Victims and Survivors of Sexual Violence?”

By Women’s Peace Network



The Jungle School of Medicine: Training Medics and Caring For Villagers

By Free Burma Rangers

Protect the Golden Triangle’s Ruak River Basin – SAC go-ahead for UWSA factories in Tachileik threatens far-reaching pollution

By Shan Human Rights Foundation

ရွှေတြိဂံ နမ့်ဟုတ်မြစ်ဝှမ်းဒေသကို ကာကွယ်ပါ – စစ်ကောင်စီက UWSA အား တာချီလိတ်တွင် စက်ရုံတည်ဆောက်ခွင့်ပေးလိုက်ခြင်းသည် ကြီးမားသော ညစ်ညမ်းမှုအဖြစ် ခြိမ်းခြောက်နေ

By Shan Human Rights Foundation

Briefing paper: Recognition of Governments

By Special Advisory Council for Myanmar

Myanmar Humanitarian Update No. 10 | 27 August 2021

By United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Progressive Voice is a participatory, rights-based policy research and advocacy organization that was born out of Burma Partnership. Burma Partnership officially ended its work on October 10, 2016 transitioning to a rights-based policy research and advocacy organization called Progressive Voice. For further information, please see our press release “Burma Partnership Celebrates Continuing Regional Solidarity for Burma and Embraces the Work Ahead for Progressive Voice.”