This morning I received the following message from Nasir Bin Zakaria, Executive Director of the Rohingya Culture Center:
“We, the Burmese Rohingya Community in Chicago, are holding two peaceful demonstrations to stop the extrajudicial killing of Rohingyas in Northern Arakan, Myanmar. We would like to invite you to join with us and raise your voice to protect Rohingyas’ lives in Arakan.”
In violation of international law and the provisions of the Geneva Convention, ten days ago the Myanmar military and police forces began indiscriminately killing the Rohingya people, torching their homes and villages. At least 150 Rohingya, including the elderly, women, and children, have died, and four Rohingya villages were burned down in Maungdaw Township. More than 10,000 people are now homeless, subject to curfew with no place to go, and victims of a blockade which has caused acute shortages of food, medicine, and other essentials–a humanitarian disaster that worsens every day.
In her recent meeting with President Obama, Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, celebrated new trade and diplomatic ties with Washington; however, the Obama Administration has now backed away from its previous support of the Rohingya, saying it now believes that genocide is not taking place despite strong evidence to the contrary. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, is heading a UN Advisory Council which is seeking a solution to the problem of Buddhist persecution of the Muslim Rohingya.
Some observers have described the treatment of the Rohingya by Myanmar’s military and religious leaders as crimes against humanity. The Rohingya are not recognized as one of Myanmar’s official 135 ethnic groups, are not considered to be citizens, and have lost their right to education and health care as well as jobs.
Dates for the Chicago demonstrations are:
Sunday, October 30, 2016, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
ROHINGYA CULTURE CENTER
2740 W. Devon Ave, Chicago, IL 60659
Saturday, November 5, 2016 1:00 – 3:00 pm
PLAZA OF THE AMERICAS
448 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL
For more information contact:
Nasir Bin Zakaria, 872-203-4921