Nobel laureates, eminent personalities ask UN Security Council to help end Rohingya crisis


WASHINGTON, Sept 17 (APP): Several Nobel laureates, political and business leaders and eminent personalities from the academia called on
the UN Security Council to immediately intervene and help end the human crisis unfolding in Myanmar where hundreds of thousands of innocent people were facing the worst miseries and life-threatening situation.
“The human tragedy and crimes against humanity unfolding in the
Arakan region of Myanmar need your immediate intervention. This is one
of the decisive moments when bold and decisive actions are needed,” they wrote in an open letter to the Council, lauding it for holding the
meeting on the crisis on September 13.
Those who signed the letter included Nobel laureates such as
Professor Muhammad Yunus, Mairead Maguire, Betty Williams, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Oscar Arias, Jody Willliams, Shirin Ebadi, Malala
Yousafzai, Sir Richard J Roberts and Elizabeth Blackburn.
Many prominent political, business and intellectuals, who also
signed the letter, included renowned Indian Poet Javed Akhtar, former Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar, Indian actor and activist Shabana Azmi, former Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino, business
leader and philanthropist Sir Richard Branson, former Prime Minister
of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland, film director Richard Curtis,
Pakistani lawyer Asma Jahangir and veteran Pakistan journalist Zahid Hameedi.
Citing statistics from various organizations, the letter said that recent military offensive by the Myanmar Army in Rakhine state has led
to the killing of hundreds of Rohingya people.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. Complete
villages have been burned, women raped, many civilians arbitrarily
arrested, and children killed. Crucially, humanitarian aid
organisations have been almost completely denied access, creating an appalling humanitarian crisis in an area already extremely poor.
According to UN sources, around 300,000 people have fled to
Bangladesh during the last two weeks. Human misery created by such
massive displacement of men, women and children under the threat of
death is getting worse every day.
The letter called on UNSC to intervene immediately by using all available means. “We request you to take immediate action for cessation
of indiscriminate military attack on innocent civilians that is forcing
them to leave their home and flee country to turn into stateless people.”
The Nobel laureates and other leaders urged the UNSC to persuade
Myanmar government to take immediate steps to implement the
recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission which the Myanmar government established in 2016 under the pressure of international community.
The commission, mostly comprised of Myanmar citizens, chaired by
Kofi Annan, recommended providing citizenship to the Rohingyas, to allow them freedom of movement, rights and equality before the law, to ensure communal representation, lack of which affects Muslims disproportionately, to facilitate UN assistance in ensuring safety and security of returning people.
“A bold change in approach is needed by United Nations and the international community if there is to be an end to the cycle of
violence against the Rohingyas. The government of Myanmar needs to be
told that international support and finance is conditional on a major
change in policy towards the Rohingya,” they wrote in the letter.
“Propaganda and incitement of hatred and all violence, particularly state violence against Rohingyas must stop, discriminatory laws and
policies must go, the recommendations of Kofi Annan’s commission must be implemented immediately.”