A panel of experts convened on Friday to discuss the future of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar following a military coup there last month.The online discussion was hosted by the Centre for British-Turkish Understanding in collaboration with the Justice For Rohingya Minority group and the Burma Human Rights Network and hosted by prominent figures, including Labour MP Rushnara Ali, academics Penny Green, Ronan Lee and activist Kyaw Win.
Panelists noted the lack of concern from the international community regarding the plight of Rohingya Muslims following the military coup on Feb. 1 despite support for the civil disobedience campaign against coup leaders by civilians in major urban centers.
“It is essential now more than ever that we continue raising awareness in the international community of the plight of the Rohingya people in Myanmar now that the military are back in power and are cracking down on pro-democracy groups,” said Kyaw Win, head of the Burma Human Rights Network. “The international community are right to denounce the coup and the violent response to demonstrations by the military and police forces but they shouldn’t forget that the Rohingya are still being persecuted and that this oppression could worsen in the coming months if no serious action is taken.”
The group also mulled possible responses to the coup and what effective action could be taken by the UN and world powers to reign in military leaders of the south-east Asian state before further gross violations of human rights continues.
International sanctions and an arms embargo regime is a tactic that was debated and it was argued that the move would put a strain on the military’s ability to maneuver within domestic and regional circles and could potentially isolate it on the international stage, depriving it of much needed economic investment.
“An arms embargo is imperative if we are to prevent any further deaths at the hands of the Myanmar military but it would also prevent them from elevating their hostile campaign against the Rohingya Muslims who have suffered at their hands for so long.