In a bid to force Myanmar to bear economic, cultural, diplomatic and political pressure globally, 30 human rights, academic and professional organizations of 10 countries today jointly launched a campaign to boycott the south Asian country.
The launch of the 'Boycott Myanmar Campaign' coincides with the arrival in the Hague of Myanmar’s de facto head of state, Suu Kyi, as she attempts to defend the country against allegations of genocide in the opening sessions of The Gambia vs Myanmar at the ICJ from 10 through 12 December.
The boycott campaign against Myanmar also marked the International Genocide Day, today, reads a news release published on the campaign's website.
Among the initiators of the global campaign are the Free Rohingya Coalition, Forsea.co, Restless Beings, Destination Justice, Rohingya Human Rights Network of Canada, Rohingya Human Rights Initiative of India, and Asia Centre, it said.
The Burmese Nobel Peace Prize recipient has been condemned worldwide for her shocking denials and dismissals of well-documented evidence and victims’ first-hand testimonies of the violent genocidal purge of nearly 1 million Rohingyas by the Myanmar government and its state organs, including the Burmese Armed Forces since October 2016, the news release said.
“The United Nations International Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar have unequivocally stated that Myanmar, my ancestral country of birth and citizenship, has adopted policies of intentional destruction of my own Rohingya ethnic community," Nay San Lwin, the Germany-based co-founder of the Free Rohingya Coalition and one of the initiators of the campaign, says.
"As Rohingya rights activists, we campaigned hard for the release of Daw Suu throughout her 15-years of captivity by the Burmese military. Since her release she has only used her freedom to collaborate with the murderous military.”
Nay adds, “on behalf of the Rohingya community of survivors, I therefore urge you to use your liberty and power, as citizens and consumers, both individually and as representatives/members of activist networks, religious communities, educational institutions, or professional or parliamentary associations, to cut any and all institutional and formal ties with Myanmar.”
What is the crisis?
Since August 2017, some 7,50,000 Rohingyas have fled a brutal military campaign in Rakhine and took shelter in Bangladesh, joining some 3,00,000 others who had fled earlier waves of violence.
According to a report of the Ontario International Development Agency, Myanmar state forces killed nearly 24,000 Rohingyas and raped thousands of women and girls since August 2017.
The UN termed the atrocities a classic example of ethnic cleansing. Over the last two years, UN Security Council took no concrete action against Myanmar mainly because of opposition from China and Russia that have veto powers.
What is happening on Dec 10-12?
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will begin its first ever hearing on the genocide case against Myanmar on December 10.
The European Rohingya Council (ERC) and Myanmar Muslim Association Netherlands (MMAN) are organising a Rohingya solidarity rally from December 10 to 12 in front of the ICJ at The Hague, Netherlands.
“Join us at the historic event in the pursuits of long-awaited justice and accountability for Rohingya victims of Myanmar Genocide as ICJ hears the case filed by The Gambia against Myanmar for the gravest crimes it has committed,” according to an announcement issued by the ERC on Twitter.
In a video message on Twitter, Rohingya activist Mohammad Eleyas called for international community -- especially the European Union -- to stand for the rights of Rohingyas.
“We are Rohingyas, we are human beings. You know Myanmar committed genocide. We don’t have any ability to take precaution against Myanmar military and Buddhist extremists in prudence. So, we need your help and support,” he said.