World Bulletin / News Desk
More than 1,000 people gathered in an east London Islamic center to show solidarity with the Arakan Muslims, Friday evening.
The event “Rohingya Muslims: The Silent Genocide”, organized by the Muslim Association of Britain focused on the violence Rohingya Muslims are subjected to in Myanmar.
One of the speakers, Mark Farmaner from the Burma Campaign UK said the Myanmar leader, “Aung San Suu Kyi’s behavior is inexcusable.”
Suu Kyi has come under fire from the international community because of the latest atrocities targeting Muslims in Myanmar.
Farmaner said: “I campaign for more than a decade for her release, for house arrest. I pressured the government, I lobbied around the world for her release. I was one of the main people campaigning for her freedom. I cannot believe. I am so disappointed on how she has behaved.”
However, Farmaner also emphasized that General Min Aung Hlaing, who leads the Myanmar army, is the person in charge of the latest operations in the country and his name should be mentioned in the international arena, as someone to end the atrocities.
The president of the Muslim Association of Britain, Harun Rashid Khan, said the action now should be more than words for Arakan atrocities, urging the attendees to put pressure on their local MPs.
Khan also praised Turkey’s humanitarian aid efforts for Arakan Muslims.
Another speaker, Carl Buckley, an international criminal law expert compared what has been going on in Myanmar with atrocities in Syria. He said Myanmar leader Suu Kyi described Arakan Muslims as terrorists, just like Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has called the opposition as terrorists.
Buckley criticized British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson over his remarks regarding the situation in Myanmar.
Johnson said in a statement that “Aung San Suu Kyi is rightly regarded as one of the most inspiring figures of our age but the treatment of the Rohingya is, alas, besmirching the reputation of Burma.”
Buckley said what was important was not the reputation of a country but the killing of hundreds of thousands of people.
The President of Turken UK, lawyer Hakan Camuz also spoke at the meeting.
Camuz reminded the listeners that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s wife, Emine Erdogan, was in Bangladesh, visiting Arakan Muslims at refugee camps.
Briefing the crowd about the humanitarian aid to the region by Turkey, Camuz told them that Arakan Muslims donated 220 pounds to the Ottoman Empire during the Balkan Wars in the
early 20th century.
According to a document found in the Ottoman archives, Burmese Muslims collected 220 pounds for Turkish war widows and orphans. They donated the money to the Ottoman consulate in Rangoon.
Camuz said he would donate a symbolic amount of 220 pounds for Arakan Muslims at the end of the event, a gesture that received great applause by the crowd.
The commission headed by the former UN chief recommended the government in Myanmar ensure full humanitarian aid access across Rakhine, persecute human rights violators, end restrictions of movement and segregation as well as “revisit” the Citizenship Law of 1982.
More than 250,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh in the last two weeks to evade persecution in Myanmar, the UN said Friday.
New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it interviewed 50 recently arrived Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who described killings, shelling and arson in their villages.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised to raise the plight of the Rohingya at the annual meeting of UN General Assembly later this month
The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
Last October, following attacks on border posts in Maungdaw, Myanmar security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which, according to Rohingya groups, around 400 people were killed.
The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including those of infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by security personnel.
UN investigators said the human rights violations indicated crimes against humanity.
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