By Abdul Aziz | Published by Dhaka Tribune on August 27, 2018
The UN likened the Aug 25 crackdown in the Rakhine state to genocide
The Rohingyas have announced to observe August 25 as the “genocide day,” a year after a Myanmar military crackdown forced more than 700,000 members of the ethnic minority to flee the Rakhine state.
The announcement came from protest rallies by the Rohingyas at Ukhiya and Teknaf on Saturday.
A group calling itself the “Free Rohingya Coalition” has been campaigning to highlight the last several days of the barbarity and atrocity of the August 25, 2017 attack on the minority.
In the declaration letter, the Rohingyas said Myanmar since had been continuing oppression of the predominantly Muslim community after cancelling their citizenship in the ‘80s. Nobel laureates Amratya Sen and Desmond Tutu have called last year’s crackdown on the minority genocide.
“We (the Rohingyas) are joining voices with them and declaring it as genocide,” the declaration said.
Despite having lived for generations in Myanmar, Naypyidaw does not recognize the Rohingyas as citizens and dubs them ‘Bangalis’ to imply that they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
State-sponsored discrimination against the minority stretches back decades. The latest crackdown in the Rakhine state has been likened to genocide by the UN.
KutupalongBottoli Rohingya camp leader Mohammad Idris said the Myanmar military killed their people, raped the women and girls and burned their homes to ground, forcing them to flee. “August 25 was the beginning of a dark chapter. We will observe it as the ‘genocide day’ every year,” he said.
Ukhiya’sBalukhali Rohingya camp leader Ayub Majhi said, they plan to observe the ‘genocide day’ even after going back home. “We want to live in our homeland with dignity,” he added.
Kutupalong camp’s management committee general secretary Nur Mohammad said the declaration of all the Rohingya people.
“The Myanmar military has been attacking and oppressing the Rohingya people in the Rakhine state using various excuses. It has killed thousands of people since August 25. So, we will observe the day as ‘genocide day’,” he said.