Rohingya crisis: Malala Yousafzai and Nobel laureates call on UN to stop Myanmar killings

The appeal came as the Security Council was due to meet behind closed doors for the second time since the crisis erupted in August, adding to mounting pressure faced by Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

By: Thomson Reuters Foundation | London | Published: September 13, 2017 11:47 pm
malala, Malala Yousafzai, malala attack, Malala Yousafzai attack, taliban, islamic state, pakistan girl attack, indian express news, world news Malala Yousafzai (Source: AP Photo/File)

A dozen Nobel laureates, including Malala Yousafzai and Muhammad Yunus, urged the United Nations on Wednesday to use “all available means” to end violence in Myanmar that has forced about 400,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh. The exodus began after a series of Rohingya militant attacks sparked a sweeping military response in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, which the U.N. rights agency said was a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

“We urge you to take decisive actions to stop the violence against innocent civilians,” Yousafzai and 29 others, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and British billionaire Richard Branson, said in an open letter to the U.N. Security Council. “Complete villages have been burned, women raped, many civilians arbitrarily arrested, and children killed,” the laureates said.

The appeal came as the Security Council was due to meet behind closed doors for the second time since the crisis erupted in August, adding to mounting pressure faced by Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Critics say Suu Kyi, who is also a Nobel laureate, should be stripped of her prize for failing to do more to end the strife.

Suu Kyi’s office said on Wednesday that she had cancelled her trip to the U.N. because of the crisis. Reports from refugees and rights groups paint a picture of widespread attacks on Rohingya villages in the north of Rakhine state by the security forces and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists, who have torched numerous Muslim villages. Myanmar authorities have denied that the security forces, or Buddhist civilians, have been starting the fires, instead blaming the insurgents. Myanmar has restricted most aid agency access to the north of Rakhine, with some officials accusing them of supporting the insurgents.

The letter called for Myanmar’s government to implement the recommendations of a commission led by former U.N. chief Kofi Annan to give the Rohyingya citizenship and freedom of movement. Myanmar’s government regards Rohingya as illegal migrants from Bangladesh, even though many have lived in the country for generations. “The government of Myanmar needs to be told that international support and finance is conditional on a major change in policy towards the Rohingya,” the laureates said.

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  1. Print Khare
    Sep 19, 2017 at 8:12 am
    Let one of 65 muslim nation who show sympathy for event 10000 km away but can not see human right violation next door, should adopt them. Rohingyas were also more concerned for turkey and pakistan muslims and wanted to be part of pakistan during India division, so now they deserve to get nationalities of pakistan and turkey. Alternately, they are bengali and india has adopted 30-40 million bengali muslims from bangaldesh. So bangladesh is relieved of population pressure and can as a gra ude to india accept these 1 millian Bengali from rohingya. All the best
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      Johan
      Sep 15, 2017 at 12:03 am
      Is this what Buddhism teaches ? The situation is not created all of sudden. why Burmese Army and Government not labeled as terrorist Organization, As of Taliban ?
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      1. Chandu Shah
        Sep 14, 2017 at 3:58 pm
        These Rohingas should convert to Buddhist and no one will touch them
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        1. Print Khare
          Sep 19, 2017 at 8:04 am
          Agreed. Why are they so rigid for muslim religion. What is anything good in muslim religion ??
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          sk
          Sep 14, 2017 at 11:49 am
          Yet the nobel laureates and the UNHCR remained completely silent on the sufferings of the Kashmiri pundits, and the Balochs for the last 25 years. SICKULARS stand exposed!
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            George THAKUR
            Sep 14, 2017 at 7:09 am
            Where was the lady when Jews and Coptic Christians were being massacred in Muslim Egypt!
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