International Event – Myanmar: Rohingya Crisis

A couple of weeks ago I attended a very interesting and moving discourse on the Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar.  The speaker was Matt Wells, who worked for the Human Rights Watch and was a senior crisis advisor for Amnesty International. His presentation was over the crisis in Myanmar regarding the genocide and of a minority population of Muslims, the Rohingyas, numbering about 1-2 million. He spoke about the atrocities that occurred from this ethnic cleansing, of the burning of homes and buildings, shooting of children, and merciless killing that drove the Rohingyas into Bangladesh. While numbers and statistics were necessary to show the gravity of the situation, hearing case studies from the victims themselves was a more potent way to understand the situation. Many of the pictures of the cases he himself interviewed were very graphic and moving, especially the one of Noor Nahar a woman with her scalped infant. These people were victims of systematic killing where the military did not distinguish between woman or man, child or adult, or actual threats vs the helpless.

The situation in Myanmar for the Muslim minority group is extremely critical and the crisis amounted to Apartheid, according the Amnesty International.  It still blows my mind why people can be so cruel to others who have not harmed them, solely because they are different.  I get the feeling that the casualties in the Rohingya crisis are often overlooked by Americans because the people are far removed from us; but if this genocide happened closer to home it would surely make headlines which is upsetting that the public knowledge of atrocities that occur is proportional to how involved the victims are with Americans.

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