What’s happening?

Since August 25 over 370,000 Rohingya Muslims have been forced from their homes in Myanmar, also known as Burma, into neighboring Bangladesh. Refugees and satellite imagery present the world with evidence that these refugees fled what the Myanmar military is calling “clearance”, but what is in reality systematic mass killings and burning of Rohingya villages. The United Nations human rights chief said that this is a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

Take action!

Call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to condemn Myanmar’s military for these crimes on camera in both official languages to demand that the Myanmar government to allow access and to demand that the Myanmar government allow humanitarian aid workers and investigators access to Rakhine area, where this violence is taking place. Trudeau will be at the United Nations next week, and this will be a good opportunity to speak out.

Email the Prime Minister’s Office at pm@pm.gc.ca or call the PMO at 613-995-0253.

Where did this come from?

Rohingya Muslims have been targeted with state discrimination, particularly being denied citizenship rights, displacement, rape, and killings for decades. Often referred to “as the most persecuted minority group in the world”, many have fled to neighboring Bangladesh, where they are treated as illegal immigrants and left stateless.  Despite these alarming reports the government of Myanmar, along with spokesperson and Nobel Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, continues to deny their role in the violence.

What has Canada done so far?

Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland has stated her concern over the ongoing violence, and has made public Canada’s $1 million commitment in humanitarian aid. Trudeau has also called San Suu Kyi on September 13 to express “deep concerns” over the situation.

But STAND Canada believes that targeting San Suu Kyi lets Myanmar’s military off the hook, as they’re responsible for orchestrating this ethnic cleansing campaign. Trudeau should leverage his international reputation and Canada’s significant commitment to peace to make clear that the Myanmar military is responsible for the recent violence, and to demand humanitarian and investigator access.

Condemning Myanmar’s military on camera, such as at the United Nations, could raise international awareness of the severity of the current crisis and increase international pressure on leadership in Myanmar to end the violence against the Rohingya.

What to say

Please feel free to use our text in your email or phone call:

Dear Prime Minister,

I call on you to personally and publicly hold the Myanmar military responsible for the targeted ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya, to increase Canada’s commitment for humanitarian aid, and to work with the international community to press the country’s military to allow access to humanitarian aid workers.

Doing this on camera in both French and English, such as at the United Nations General Assembly, is crucial. Canada must leverage its reputation to end the violence and help the hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people.

When we look back at this, I want to be able to say that our government did everything it could to stop ethnic cleansing. Previous Canadian governments were slow to act in response to this in Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur, but it can be different this time for Myanmar.


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