Stop the genocide of Rohingya Muslim Minority in Myanmar
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Muslim Mothers of Preston
Miss Sarah Shahed & Mrs Samsun Nehar
Rt Hon Mr Ben Wallace MP
Dear Mr Ben Wallace MP
We are Muslim mothers living in and around Preston Lancashire and fortunate enough to live in a community which embraces diversity. We as mothers contribute in our little ways to the wider community and always try to make an effort to the needs of others. For us having a caring and sharing attitude towards everyone is synonymous of being a good British Citizen and a Muslim. Our children attend local schools and we have aspirations for a brighter future for them in an inclusive society. This would not have been possible if our immigrant forefathers were not accepted and welcomed by the generosity of British Society - a shining example of democracy and what Great Britain stands for.
We are writing about our concerns regarding the recent escalation of events in Myanmar (Burma) regarding the treatment of the Rohingya Muslim minority. It is inconceivable that Myanmar has an ethnically based citizenship law, which in effect denies the Rohingya Muslim minority citizenship. The Burma Campaign UK has a 10 page briefing. To quote the briefing “Burma’s 1982 Citizenship Law violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and international norms prohibiting discrimination of racial and religious minorities, such as the UN (United Nations) General Assembly Resolution on the International Convention on the Elimination of all form of Racial Discrimination.”(see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burmese_nationality_law In the international stage, a country with such a law can never claim to be civilized.
It is now well known and agreed by notable international and human rights organizations that the Rohingya Muslim minority are the most persecuted humans on earth. They have accepted and suffered for decades discrimination, various forms of physical attacks including rape and murder, to which the authorities of Myanmar have turned a blind eye. In fact, evidence now clearly shows that the authorities including the police and army have been the perpetrators and the ones inciting the violence, as substantial evidence emerges of Buddhist Monks alongside the authorities carrying out acts of terrorism and crimes against humanity. These include mob killing, burning homes, burning mosques, raping women and girls, the beheading of children and babies, drowning, burning people alive and the list goes on of the sadistic nature of this genocide. Sadly, however there is no condemnation or recognition of such terrorist atrocities to the level being committed, instead Individuals are preoccupied disputing the authenticity of the evidences, though there are clear eye witness accounts supporting the evidence.
Based on interviews with eyewitnesses and analysis by Amnesty International’s own weapons experts, it has documented what seems to be a targeted use of internationally banned antipersonnel landmines being planted by Myanmar’s security force along its border with Bangladesh. This is a narrow stretch, forming part of the north-western border of Rakhine State, from where the United Nations estimates 270,000 people have fled a major military operation in the past fortnight. Amnesty international also reports that these landmines are seriously injuring and killing civilians, including children as they flee violence. They also prevent any return of the refugees to their homeland, again demonstrating the nature of this ethnic cleansing.
“This is another low in what is already a horrific situation in Rakhine State. The Myanmar military’s callous use of inherently indiscriminate and deadly weapons at highly trafficked paths around the border is putting the lives of ordinary people at enormous risk,” said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Director, who is currently near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.”
It is also very disappointing there is also a lack of media coverage of these events in the UK national media and often very little that comes out is often watered down by clever articulate use of language. However, to the common people on the street like ourselves the mass killing and displacement of a certain group of people cannot be glossed over or even justified by clever use of language.
As British citizens, we are horrified to learn that the British Government has made a poor judgment by funding the Myanmar army. This started at £86,000 in 2012 rising to £300,000 in the last year, figures are now said to be nearer £500,000! Yet there is no acknowledgement by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) that any of this money has led to the improvement of the country or in improvement of human rights. Hence today responsibility must be taken the British Government who have been training a criminal army, responsible for the genocide of the Rohingya Muslim minority.
We are aware that Myanmar is regarded as a sensitive country and since China is trying to facilitate Myanmar into its sphere of influence. This in no doubt has constrained the eagerness of the UK to criticize Myanmar or propose sanctions against Myanmar if it continues to behave this way. However, the time is critical for the UK now to act on the evidence and save the people of Rohingya and reclaim their position as champions of global justice and freedom.
We would be grateful if you can forward our concerns to the Government on the following issues:
· It is imperative that the British Government stops the funding, training and selling of arms to the Myanmar criminal army
· The British Government should ensure any future funding for training programmes of armies abroad should include that other countries learn about British values and human rights
What the UK is proposing to resolve the crisis in Myanmar
Myanmar immediately needs to allow full UN access and humanitarian aid in to the region
What our Government is doing to help the thousands of displaced Rohingya refugees near the border of Bangladesh and other regions
The Myanmar Army is one of only a handful of state forces worldwide, along with North Korea and Syria, to still openly use antipersonnel landmines, UK Government with its partners and UN must exert pressure on Myanmar to immediately end this abhorrent practice against people who are already fleeing persecution
The UK Government needs to use its influence in the UN to bring Myanmar to respect and become a signatory to the Ottawa Treaty 1997 / Antipersonnel landmine Ban Treaty
There needs to be a full UN investigation into the systematic genocide, war crimes and crime against humanity of the Rohingya Muslim minority and the perpetrators all need to be brought to justice in the International Criminal Court at the Hague
We would like the UK Government to use its diplomatic ties and influences with other international organizations such as, the European Union and United Nations to place pressure on Myanmar regarding its illegal citizenship law for a country which wishes to be a full player in the modern world
We would also like to express our complete sadness and anger about the position of Aung San Suu Kyi a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and an influential political leader for being complicit in genocide of the Rohingya Muslim minority and will bear heavily in history. There is public consensus for her to be stripped of the Nobel Peace Prize without a question!
Finally, we would like to thank you for taking the time to listen to our concerns and hope to hear from you on the above matters. Please feel free to contact us if you wish to discuss anything.
Mrs Samsun Nehar & Miss Sarah Shahed
Muslim Mothers of Preston
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