BROUK Washington Trip brought the attention of Genocide on Rohingya to US key policy makers and Americans through US Holocaust Museum
November 9, 2013
BROUK President Tun Khin spoke at US holocaust Museum along with photographer Greg Constantine, Holly Atkinson director of Human Rights at Icahn school of Medicine and past President of Physicians Human Rights
BROUK President Tun Khin told RB News “it is very encouraging more than 400 audience joined at the event including US State Department Officials, U.S Commission on International Religious Freedom, U.S Department of State Office of Global Criminal Justice, U.S State Department US Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migrations, U.S Congressional staffs. “It is historic record and proof that Genocide is happening on Rohingyas. The Burmese government is trying to push all Rohingyas into camps or out of the country. In a few years, there will be no more Rohingya in the country.” As a Rohingya human rights activist, I stressed this message during my remarks at an event hosted by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum -Our Walls Bear Witness: The Plight of Burma’s Rohingya.
During the Washington Trip, BROUK President Tun Khin briefed on the current situation of the Rohingya jointly with Physician Human Rights, Refugess International to US Congressman James P. Mcgovern, Congressman staffs, US House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee, Asia Development Bank, Burma/Burundi comparative briefing at Humanity United.
(1) An Independent International Investigation
The commission established by the government of Burma did not address issues of accountability and justice. It is clear that the government of Burma is not willing to conduct a genuine investigation into the cause of the violence, to establish who was responsible for inciting and organizing the violence, and to hold those who organized and took part in the attacks to account. An independent international investigation will not only help establish the truth, but also help prevent further attacks as for the first time those responsible will fear being held accountable. Recommendations can also be made to prevent further violence.
(2) International observers will improve security situation
Rohingya in Rakhine State are living in constant fear of attack. An increase in international observers on the ground will help prevent further attacks, and can act as an early warning system if new violent attacks seem imminent. Their mandate should be widened to include making public reports.
(3) More aid and increased humanitarian access
Although aid access has improved, there is still not enough aid reaching the people internally displaced by violence. As a result, conditions are dire and unnecessary additional suffering is caused. There needs to be a significant increase in aid to IDPs, in particular medical assistance. Humanitarian aid also needs to be increased to Rohingya villagers who are isolated and unable to leave to trade and buy food because of fear of attack.
(4) Stop Hate Speech
Those inciting hatred and violence are well known in Burma, but no action has been taken against them. President Thein Sein has encouraged those inciting violence. He asked the UN for assistance in deporting all Rohingya, giving apparent legitimacy to their view that Rohingya don’t belong in Burma. He also publicly defended the anti-Muslim Monk Wirathu. Pressure must be placed on the government to take action against those inciting hatred and violence against Muslims. MPs from the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, which is linked with incitement and violence, should be refused visas to the USA and ineligible for international training and support.
(5) Repeal of the 1982 Citizenship Law
The 1982 Citizenship Laws needs to be repealed or revised. It legally underpins much of the discrimination against the Rohingya. President Thein Sein has repeatedly ruled out changing this law. No further relaxation of sanctions or closer relations with the government of Burma should take place until Thein Sein ensures this law is repealed or reformed. In line with the recommendation of the UN Special Rapporteur on Burma, the new law should be in line with international human rights standards, and not be race based, and; “ensure that all persons in Myanmar have equal access to citizenship and are not discriminated in such access on grounds of ethnicity or religion." The US government should ask the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to request from Burma information relevant to the implementation of Article 7 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, relating to the 1982 Citizenship Law, to assess if Burma is complying with its treaty obligations.
(6) Free political prisoners and stop torture
Information gathered by BROUK, and also by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma, details the widespread use of torture against many of the 1,000 plus Rohingya arrested since violence began in June 2012. The Special Rapporteur has said that arrests have been arbitrary and that mass trails which are not fair have taken place. Community leaders appear to have been targeted for arrest, for example Dr Tun Aung.
(7) Reconciliation between Rohingya and Rakhine
Burma’s political leadership has been unwilling to address issues of communal violence, religious intolerance and hate-speech. We appeal to the US government for advice and support in building a process in Burma whereby we can build communal understanding and tolerance, and respect for each other.