The Sept. 20 WorldViews excerpt “The history behind the Rohingya’s plight in Burma goes back centuries” rightly shed light on the plights of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fleeing persecution in Burma.
The Rohingya are an ethnic minority group that has been in Burma for hundreds of years. However, decades of systematic exclusion from political, social and cultural activities have jeopardized the Rohingya’s ethnic identity. Though other countries and human rights organizations have raised concern over human rights violations by the Burmese military, the government is categorically denying the occurrence of any genocide or ethnic cleansing in Rakhine state. Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s de facto leader and a Nobel laureate, is reluctant to show sympathy toward the Rohingya or take steps to halt these atrocities.
Considering the intricacy of the situation, the United Nations and other global powers must press Burma to halt military campaigns immediately and implement Annan Commission recommendations. In addition, they should impose sanctions on Burma’s military and create a safe zone inside Rakhine state to encourage voluntary return of the Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh.
Fahmida Afroz, Athens, Ga.