Showing posts from November, 2019

The Silence Is Deafening

The Organization for World Peace
The Silence Is Deafening
Earlier this month, British-Bangladeshi film-maker Leesa Gazi released her award winning documentary feature ‘Rising Silence’ to the British public. The documentary tracks the story of four sisters who were abducted during the 1971 war in which East Pakistan broke with West Pakistan to become Bangladesh. During the nine-month war of independence, according to the source, between 200,000 and 400,000 Bangladeshi women and girls were raped and tortured by the Pakistan Army and pro-Pakistan militias. Even in the hope that the figure is closer to 200,000, the 1971 war is proof that rape is used as an instrument of terror and is a crime against humanity.
After the war and the subsequent release of the women and girls, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, “the father of the Bengali nation,” awarded the women the title of “Birangona,” the brave or courageous heroines. While the title may appear to honour the women who suffered this abuse, the cruel re…

The Rohingya Genocide Reminds Us of the Holocaust


By Susan Lowenberg and Howard Unger
She was 16 years old and alone in a refugee camp in a foreign country when we met her. Sobbing, she told us how she hoped that her brother might be somewhere in this camp, “camp number 18.” She had heard that he might be alive — if so, he would be her only surviving family member. Or maybe he was in another of the many camps that have been established in Bangladesh for the Rohingya, a Burmese Muslim minority who fled genocide in Burma.We saw displacement on an unimaginable scale. An estimated 800,000 Rohingya have endured harrowing conditions to reach a country that cannot indefinitely host this many people. A tipping point — for the Rohingya and Bangladesh — is coming. If their plight is unaddressed, it will have long-lasting consequences for the region and beyond — and for people like the girl we met. Yet the Rohingya cannot return home, at le…

Women Speak From Margins of Ayodhya Dispute

Not the loss of a mosque, but the disregard for Muslims causes anguish. Hasina Khan,Sana Contractor 26 Nov 2019
We, two Muslim women born and raised in Bombay, residents of Bhendi Bazaar, relived the pain and trauma of the 1992 riots on the day the Supreme Court ruled on the Ayodhya dispute. The judgment rekindled within us the memories of 6 December 1992, the day the Babri masjid was demolished, and what followed thereafter. Etched in the landscape of our minds is the Bhendi Bazaar of the turbulent nineties that unfolded after the demolition. This area witnessed the worst police atrocities and the city’s most prolonged curfews. We did not just witness that theater of cruelty, but also got involved in rehabilitating members of the Muslim community who ended up in relief camps. Cut to 2019 and we are witnesses again. Again we are seeing the Muslims rise to the occasion, striving to prove their loyalty to the country, offering proof of being good citizens. The manifestation of this desir…

SHOWDOWN IN INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE: Sovereignty versus human rights?

Now that the State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi has officially said that she will lead the legal team to confront the genocide accusation filed by Gambia, a small African nation speaking on behalf of the 57 Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), all domestic and international eyes are on International Court of Justice (ICJ) hearings which will take place from December 10 to 12.
As all know in 2017, an exodus of more than 700,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh occurred, due to the crackdown which the military or Tatmadaw depicted as “area clearance” arguing it was an undertaking  to get rid of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) members, who attacked some 30 police outposts simultaneously in August 2017 with impoverished weapons using few guns, swords and spears, where 84 were killed including 13 security officials, according to government’s report. The followup crackdown targeted not only the ARSA members but the whole Rohingya population in the north of Arakan State. And during the expul…

HRW: Bangladesh Turning Refugee Camps into Open-Air Prisons

Brad Adams Asia Director
Bangladesh Army Chief Gen. Aziz Ahmed said this week that a plan to surround the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar with barbed wire fences and guard towers was “in full swing.” The plan is the latest in a series of policies effectively cutting off more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees from the outside world. The refugees have been living under an internet blackout for more than 75 days.
Bangladesh is struggling to manage the massive refugee influx and the challenges of handling grievances from the local community, yet there is no end in sight because Myanmar has refused to create conditions for the refugees’ safe and voluntary return. But fencing in refugees in what will essentially be open-air prisons and cutting off communication services are neither necessary nor proportional measures to maintain camp security and are contrary to international human rights law.
Humanitarian aid workers reported the internet shutdown has seriously hampered thei…