Tribunal on Myanmar minorities in Kuala Lumpur Sept 18 | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Tribunal on Myanmar minorities in Kuala Lumpur Sept 18


An international tribunal on the situation of the Rohingyas, Kachins and other minorities in Myanmar will convene in Kuala Lumpur from the 18th to the 22nd of September 2017. The venue will be the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya.The convener of the tribunal is the Rome-based Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT) which is an internationally recognised public opinion tribunal that functions independently of state authorities. The PPT was established in 1979 by Italian lawyer and senator, Lelio Basso. Over the years it has held hearings on collective human rights violations in different parts of the world.
The tribunal in Kuala Lumpur is the second and proceedings began in London in March 2017. The London session called upon the UN and ASEAN to take effective measures to stop state crimes against the Rohingyas and Kachins. Though there has been no meaningful response from either the UN or ASEAN, the importance of addressing the challenges confronting the two communities remains as urgent as ever.
The brutality of renewed violence in Myanmar since 25th August 2017 has underscored this urgency. Tens of thousands of Rohingyas have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. Thousands of others are struggling to survive in dire and desperate circumstances. There have been strong reactions against the Myanmar government in other ASEAN countries. There is growing fear that the situation in Myanmar will further exacerbate Buddhist-Muslim relations in the region and beyond. Besides, when human rights are trampled upon and human dignity is crushed so mercilessly in one ASEAN state, it tarnishes the image of the entire ASEAN family.
It is against this backdrop that the Tribunal at the University of Malaya is being held. Victims from the Rohingya, Kachin and other communities will provide testimonies. Widespread and credible allegations of crimes against these minorities and against humanity will be examined in an honest and truthful manner. Expert witnesses who have studied genocide in depth will present their views. A panel of nine distinguished judges from different countries will analyse the evidence before them and come up with their findings which will be made public.
These findings, it is hoped, will spur governments, citizens groups and individuals wherever they are to do more to persuade the Myanmar government and other actors to desist from violence. The killings should stop immediately. The Myanmar government in particular should restore the rights and respect the dignity of the Rohingyas, the Kachins and all the other minorities in the country. Only then will there be peace and harmony.
The Malaysian Organising Committee (M0C) comprising the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy ( CENTHRA) and International Forum on Buddhist-Muslim Relations ( BMF) extends a warm invitation to the public to attend the Tribunal. Since space is limited, those who would like to attend should get in touch with as soon as possible. There is no registration fee.
Nonetheless, the organisers have incurred considerable expenses associated with rental of venue, accommodation, meals, internal transportation and operations. Since all three of us are Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) with meagre financial resources, they would really appreciate support from the public. Cheques or postal orders can be made out to the International Movement for a Just World. The bank account number is 5141 6917 0716 (Maybank).
This is an appeal for a just cause. It is an appeal on behalf of oppressed and marginalised communities. The organisers hope and pray that the members of the public will respond to this plea for financial support with kindness, compassion and generosity.
Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, President, International Movement for a Just World (JUST), Azril Mohd Amin, Chief Executive, Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (CENTHRA).
K.V. Soon(Vidyananda) Interim Secretary, International Forum on Buddhist-Muslim Relations (BMF). – Press release


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