Thank you for inviting me here this evening to speak about the dire situation in Bangladesh.
Ever since I have been become a local cllr have been advocate and campaigner on human rights.
Like you I have seen and heard of the various reports of violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar on the UK television and radio. In addition, I have also heard of reports by the United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch that hundreds of thousands Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine State have been indiscriminately targeted in a recent increase of human rights abuses.
A couple of days ago thousands of refugees from Myanmar have been admitted to Bangladesh after spending up to four days stranded near the border.
By last night Bangladesh border guards reported that over 6,800 refugees had passed through Anjuman Para border village in Cox’s Bazar district. Thousands more are said to be on their way from Myanmar. Many of the refugees are women and children. The state military of Burma is driving them out of the country.
What do we know?
1) The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) claims that people are fleeing their homes, whole villages are being burnt, indiscriminate killings, tortures, rape and sexual assault of Rohingya Muslims and the destruction of mosques and homes.
2) Amnesty International’s “litany of human rights violations” against Rohingya Muslims by the Myanmar Army. These sadly include reports of military firing on villagers from helicopter gunships, burning countless homes, arbitrary arrests, and raping women and girls.
3) A recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report showing high-definition satellite imagery of the burnt and destroyed Rohingya villages.
4) The number of people displaced internally and taking refuge elsewhere, particularly Bangladesh.
We need to ask the British Government to
1) Utterly condemn any reprisal attacks for the border incident.
2) Call for an immediate ending of violence against an already persecuted religious minority.
3) Prevent further violations of the Rohingya’s human rights.
4) Intensify pressure on the Myanmar government to allow full humanitarian access to the Rohingya.
5) Set up an international commission to investigate the claims of atrocities and genocide for possible crimes against humanity.
6) Set up with the international community a process to monitor and look into the citizenship system in Myanmar.
I am gravely concerned that our inaction may lead to the making of another so-called ISIS in Asia and we seem to be silent. We seem to have learnt few lessons from conflicts elsewhere of appeasement which led to the Second World War, Rwanda, and elsewhere. The Myanmar government continue to claim this is fake news and appeasing them is no longer acceptable. An immediate International Commission investigating the truth would provide much-needed evidence and options for resolving the situation and preventing further loss of life.
It is an awful situation at the moment. Let’s hope the situation drastically improves in the near future.
Iam very proud that Bangladesh has opened its boarders for the rohinga.
Bangaldesh is a very poor country and needs our support to help look after the refusgees.
Thank you for your support with fundraising for this very important cause.
Thank you for listening.