It was already evident in October 2015 that the Rohingya were experiencing genocide in Myanmar, according to Alicia de la Cour Venning, Thomas MacManus and Penny Green, researchers at the International State Crime Initiative:
Between October 2014 and March 2015 we conducted fieldwork in Rakhine state, and carried out over 180 interviews with individuals from Rohingya, Rakhine, Kaman, and Maramagyi ethnic groups, as well as international non-governmental organisation (INGO) and UN staff, government officials, local Rakhine civil society leaders, business people and politicians, and Buddhist monks……
Our warning was stark (PDF): “This report concludes with an urgent warning to civil society in Myanmar, to international civil society, to the government of Myanmar and to international states. A genocidal process is underway in Myanmar and if it follows the path outlined in this report, it is yet to be completed. It can be stopped but not without confronting the fact that it is, indeed, a genocide.” RTWT
Bangladesh is already the world’s most densely populated large country. It is also one of the poorest. The government and civil society have nevertheless provided a massive amount of aid [to exiled Rohingya], The Washington Post reports.
Filmmaker Jeanne Hallacy’s documentary Sittwe highlights the plight of Buddhist and Muslim teenagers uprooted by the unrest that rippled through Burma’s Rakhine State in 2012, creating an unprecedented and urgent humanitarian situation that continues to displace communities – mostly Rohingya – today.
Animosity between Muslims and Buddhists in Burma dates back to the 1940s, but tensions have heightened since 2012 when a Buddhist woman was raped and murdered—allegedly by three Muslim men, according to The Economist:
“Nobody knows if a Muslim or a Buddhist killed her,” says a protagonist in “Sittwe”, but communal violence in 2012 claimed at least 80 lives and displaced more than 100,000. Violence has reverberated throughout the country, but Rakhine remains the epicentre of the strife. Not only is it one of the poorest parts of Myanmar, it is also the home of more than 1m stateless Rohingyas, whom the Burmese authorities regard as illegal immigrants and thus treat with contempt.
Please join AJWS and the National Endowment for Democracy for a screening of Sittwe, with remarks from the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Representative Elliot Engel. Immediately following the film, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Program Manager Andrea Gittleman will moderate a panel to discuss the ongoing violence in Rakhine State, mass displacement of the Rohingya people, and the important work that international and community groups are doing to help solve the crisis.
Perspectives on the Rohingya Crisis
Mr. Myo Win
Executive Director, Smile Education and Development Foundation (Yangon)
Mr. Tun Khin
Burmese Rohingya Organization UK (London)
Ms. Wai Wai Nu
Women Peace Network – Arakan (Yangon)
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Refreshments will be served
2200 Rayburn House Office Building