POST TIME: 25 September, 2018 12:24:30 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 25 September, 2018 11:05:01 AM
Pressure on Myanmar keeps mounting

Pressure on Myanmar keeps mounting

International pressure on Myanmar for the unprecedented atrocities committed by its military against Rohingya population is mounting as the foreign affairs committee of the United States House of Representatives, lower house of Congress, is going to hold a hearing on genocide against the persecuted people. The chairman of the influential foreign affairs committee, Ed Royce, described the atrocities against hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas as genocide. The hearing titled “Genocide against the Burmese Rohingya’ will begin on the Capitol Hill tomorrow at 10 am Washington time and 9pm Bangladesh time. Greta Van Susteren, a veteran journalist and lawyer, and Stephen Pomper, program director of the United States International Crisis Group, will testify as witnesses.

“Evidence of Burma’s (Myanmar) genocide against the Rohingya continues to grow. Thousands of men, women and children have been slaughtered, entire villages have been burned and bulldozed, and more than 700,000 have been forced to flee their homes,” chairman Royce said about the hearing.

“The administration has tools at hand to hold Burmese officials accountable. This hearing is an opportunity for members to examine the latest developments in this crisis and review the action that’s needed to help stop the violence,” he said. Welcoming the news, a top Bangladeshi diplomat said that this will add to the ongoing mounting pressure on Myanmar to resolve the crisis.

“The committee that is holding the hearing is very powerful in the US system and we are expecting that it will have an impact on the US executive branch,” he said. The hearing is taking place against the backdrop of the release of the full report of the United Nations fact-finding mission that detailed horrific crimes committed against Rohingyas by their own military and subsequent calls from the members of the UN Human Rights Council and a motion adopted by the Canadian Parliament calling the crimes

as genocide. Earlier, the United Kingdom said that the world will not rest on Rohingya crisis and the International Criminal Court opened a preliminary inquiry while the European Parliament has adopted a resolution. Meanwhile, Bangladesh will make every possible effort to make the most of the ongoing 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to highlight the Rohingya crisis and persuade the international community to put more pressure on Myanmar to force them take back their people, diplomats said.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, who is now in New York, will address the UNGA on Thursday highlighting the crisis that has engulfed Bangladesh, they said. “This session of the UNGA will feature Rohingya crisis prominently anyway. But, on our part we will do everything we can so that the world audience knows much better about the gravity of the dire situation,” said a senior diplomat from New York. “Dhaka will call upon the international community to ensure a sustainable solution to the problem. We will also tell the world that Bangladesh has already done enough despite not being any party to the problem. We will also remind the international actors that they must ensure adequate funding to look after the Rohingyas before being repatriated,” he said.  Besides, foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali will hold a tripartite meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and a Myanmar minister, said the diplomats, adding that China, a staunch ally of Myanmar, has initiated the meeting aimed at beginning the repatriation as early as possible.