umm Abdillah | Radio Islam Programming | 2015.05.25 | 7 Sha’ban 1436 H
Over the last 10 days, the world has watched with horror and disbelief news reports about Rohingya from Myanmar drifting in over-crowded vessels in the Andaman Sea, half-starved, disease-stricken and dying.
From 26 May, a high-profile international conference will be held at the Norwegian Nobel Institute and Voksenaasen to bring the Norwegian and EU publics closer to the reality of the Rohingya. This Muslim minority in Myanmar (Burma) has been so systematically persecuted that they would rather risk lives – including those of their infants and children – than die a slow, collective death.
George Soros, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire, José Ramos-Horta and Dr Mahathir Mohammad will join the call to be made by genocide scholars, human rights researchers and activists at the Oslo Conference.
Nobel Peace Laureate, the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond M. Tutu of South Africa, places the responsibility for the Rohingyas’ plight squarely on the Myanmar government. While the government has characterized this as sectarian or communal violence and sought to absolve itself of responsibility, Tutu says there is evidence that anti-Rohingya sentiment has been carefully cultivated by the government itself. “I would be more inclined to heed the warnings of eminent scholars and researchers including Amartya Sen, the Nobel laureate in economics, who say this is a deliberately false narrative to camouflage the slow genocide being committed against the Rohingya people,” Tutu says.
Bishop Tutu will make an impassioned call in Oslo: “As lovers of peace … we have a responsibility to persuade our international and regional aid and grant-making institutions, including the European Union, to adopt a common position making funding the development of Myanmar conditional on the restoration of citizenship, nationality, and basic human rights to the Rohingya.”
The 3-day conference is sponsored by the Oxford University Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), the Harvard University Global Equality Initiative, Parliament of the World’s Religions, Burma Task Force USA, Justice for All, Refugees International, and the International State Crime Initiative at Queen Mary University of London.
INFO FOR THE LIVE WEBCAST from 0900 – 1730 (Norway time) (GMT +2) also SA time on the first day of the conference:
Follow #riRohingyaDay and #RohingyaCrisis for our all day programming focus on the Rohingya Crises on Wednesday 27 May 2015.