Canada recognises genocide of Rohingyas
We thank the Canadian House of Commons for their recent unanimously voted declaration terming Myanmar's persecution of the Rohingya as a genocide. It is heartening to see that the country has endorsed the finding of the UN fact-finding mission which found that under the endorsement of Myanmar's top military commanders, "crimes against humanity" have been committed on this people, and that these crimes qualify as "genocide".
More than a year has passed now since Myanmar renewed its persecution of this minority people, and used tactics of murder and rape to drive them out of their historic homeland. And yet, we are nowhere close to bringing those who engineered these crimes to justice, or in repatriating the more than 700,000 Rohingyas who have fled to Bangladesh. We have continually stressed that a resolution to this would need the backing and pressure of other countries and international bodies. Yet, international efforts have been stifled by a few countries, and Myanmar has continued to deny its crimes and engage in meaningful action to restore the citizenship of these people.
Only a few days ago, the International Criminal Court launched a preliminary probe into Myanmar's crimes. At this time, continued pressure is essential, and recognition of Myanmar's crimes for what they are is crucial. We can only hope that Canada's decision in this regard will serve as an example for other countries to follow. Not only so that those responsible for committing crimes against the Rohingyas can be punished, but also to pressurise Myanmar into reforming its discriminatory state policies which have sought to marginalise and deny basic rights to this community.