Myanmar – Hell on Earth – A Brief History
Rohingya militants attacked security forces on August 25th, resulting in several fatalities. They, with the help of Buddhist nationalist mobs, burned down villages and killed an incredible number of Rohingya. The UN Human Rights Office believes that the military’s actions started prior to August 25th and were intended to drive out the Rohingya from the region.
Rohingya are considered foreigners to Myanmar, despite occupying the Rakhine State for several generations. Because they are labelled foreigners, they are not entitled to citizenship, they are denied basic human rights, and they are subjected to incredible torment and cultural and religious persecution.
What’s Going On
Bob Rae is now Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar in an effort to promote accountability for the alleged crimes of the Myanmar government and military forces. Canada and the United Nations have labelled Myanmar’s actions as ethnic cleansing of a minority segment. Over 600,000 Rohihgya have fled to Bangladesh to avoid persecution, torture, and further oppression.
Rohingya girls under the age of 18 years of age account for nearly 50% of all reported rape cases at the Medicins Sans Frontieres Kutupalong Health Facility’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Unit on the border of Bangladesh. This unit is a specialist clinic designed for survivors of sexual assault in Cox’s Bazar.
This health unit is currently treating children under the age of 10 for rape as a result of fleeing the violence in Myanmar. Medicins Sans Frontieres believes that the amount of reported cases is just fraction of those believed to have taken place since August 25th, as most survivors of these brutal assaults face cultural and practical barriers to accessing treatment.
Canadians’ Response to the Crisis
Canadians have voiced their concerns over the crisis and have called on the Canadian Government to revoke the Honorary Citizenship Status that was given to Myanmar’s State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, over a decade ago.
We hope that Bob Rae’s appointment to this position shines a light on the issues facing Myanmar and what actions might be done to influence the region’s military and government officials from continuing these despicable acts. We hope Canada’s involvement in the region is more than just a report written by Mr. Rae and his staff and a revocation of Suu Kyi’s Citizenship.
Check out our previous post here.