Burma is burning and the world is silent
Written by : Adv Sayed Mujtaba Hussain/ Manjot Singh Kohli
Human rights activists as usual are failing to defend the rights of Rohingyans of Burma. For too many years now the human rights abuses continue in Burma. Clear is the fact that at this very moment it is being totally exposed.
While the scale and severity of the violations in Burma requires sustained effort by the international communities, the world has done too little to stop the bloodshed. Despite the recognition of the existence of these violations by many UN organs for over a period of time, the different security counsels including UN and OIC have failed to act to ensure accountability and justice. It is the world’s most silent genocide. Under the UN Geneva Convention, the definition of genocide describes both a mental and physical element: “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such,” and includes killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
The government of Myanmar is carrying out genocide against its 1.3 million Rohingya Muslim population – one that is being ignored, in the most part, by the international community, despite acknowledgement by the United Nations that mass killings, disappearances, torture, gang rapes, brutal beatings, property dispossession, and forced deportations are occurring in increasing frequency and ferocity.
The devastating cruelty to which these Rohingya children have been subjected is unbearable. What kind of hatred could make a man stab a baby crying out for his mother’s milk. And for the mother to witness this murder while she is being gang-raped by the very security forces who should be protecting her,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
Cruelty that includes the slaughter of babies and young children with knives; deliberate destruction of food supplies, and the burning and looting of entire villages. Of 101 Rohingya Muslim women interviewed by the UN, more than half said they had been raped or sexually assaulted.
At the same time it is highly condemnable if India will deport refugees. Because the constitutional protections of Article 14, Article 21 and Article 51(c) of the Constitution of India, which provides equal rights and liberty to every ‘person’. And this principle would fall foul of the principle of ‘Non-Refoulement’, which has been widely recognised as a principle of Customary International Law. India has ratified and is a signatory to, various conventions that recognize the Principle of ‘Non Refoulement’, that prohibits the deportation of refugees to a country where they face threat to their life. Further, the Constitution of India under Article 51(c), a Directive Principle of State Policy, also requires fostering respect for International Law and Treaty Obligations. India failed to carry out their obligations to ensure protection to the Rohingya Community by proposing to deport the Community to their home country of Myanmar, where they face serious persecution.”.
It is time to save the innocent lives. The world leaders must step in and pressurize the government of Myanmar to stop the genocide and protect the rights and lives of innocent people.
(The authors are Human Rights Defenders)
with thanks of GK