The Justice For Rohingya Minority (JFRM) held a roundtable discussion Monday in London on the genocide against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims and offered solutions to the crisis.
The panel of speakers included Peter Oborne, an author and columnist for the Daily Mail, Catherine West, an MP and member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on International Trade, Richard Cockett, editor and columnist at The Economist, Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, and S. Sayyid, a professor at the University of Leeds.
Also attending the event were leading Rohingya activists Abdullah Faliq, Nurul Islam and Kyaw Win.
Moderating the event was Peter Oborne, who began the discussion by clarifying that the atrocities being perpetrated against the Rohingya were a genocide and that the international community’s silence and lackluster response allowed the perpetrators to get away without any accountability.
“It should be known that what is happening to the Rohingya in Myanmar is a genocide, and it is a genocide that has been occurring for the past six years” Oborne said.
“That this [genocide] has been and continues to be underreported doesn’t lessen the fact that it is a genocide, and the abysmal response by the international community allows the perpetrators to continue with the atrocities without any fear of accountability whatsoever,” he added.
Oborne also said that holding such events and discussions was key to spreading awareness of the plight of the Rohingya Muslims and to push for policy changes in government regarding its position on the crisis and its standing at the UN Security Council.
Richard Cockett of The Economist spoke on how the recent atrocities against the Rohingya are not a new phenomenon and that Rohingya have for decades experienced routine persecution and oppression from Burmese authorities.
Cockett spoke on how the Burmese government would prevent economic and social development from taking place in Rohingya communities in Rakhine state, not offer any employment opportunities for Rohingya Muslims and restrict their freedom of movement and expression. Such oppression, Cockett said, has driven the Rohingya to desperation and the recent genocide has stripped them of their identity, livelihood and normality.