ISLAMABAD: The United Nations has failed to stop the ‘genocide’ of the Rohingya ethnic minority in Myanmar, Imran Khan, the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The shameful UN silence is a testament to its failure to fulfill the basic principles of upholding human rights, says the letter.
Myanmar does not recognise its 1.1 million-strong Rohingya community as citizens, rendering them effectively stateless. Many have fled the apartheid-like conditions of the country’s Rakhine state. Thousands of Rohingyas have fled persecution in boats to seek refuge in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Earlier this week US President Barack Obama called upon Yangon to treat the Rohingyas as citizens to solve the root cause of the migrant crisis in Southeast Asia.
In his letter, Imran asked Secretary General Ban “to move the UN Security Council to end the persecution and genocide of the Rohingyas within Myanmar and to bring to an end their inhumane plight on the high seas, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.”
He went on to add that “the UN has once again failed to protect a people from persecution and genocide: this time the Rohingyas of Myanmar.”
“The Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] meeting held on May 29, 2015 to discuss the Rohingyas plight did little to resolve the issue. Even in terms of aid and assistance, the final statement effectively reflected proposals and recommendations with no mechanism for ensuring implementation,” reads the letter.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2015.
By Qamar Zaman