UPDATE SEPTEMBER 14: Following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s expressing “deep concern” to Aung San Suu Kyi, STAND Canada has updated this Action Alert to call on Trudeau to condemn Myanmar’s military on camera, such as at the United Nations General Assembly.

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 make a public statement explicitly holding the Myanmar government and military responsible for these crimes, and to work with the international community to press the Myanmar government to allow access to humanitarian aid workers to the country.

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.

However, STAND Canada believes that Prime Minister Trudeau should leverage his international reputation and Canada’s significant commitment to peace to make clear that the Myanmar military and government are responsible for the recent violence and to demand humanitarian and investigator access. This public statement 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 government accountable for the targeted ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya, and to work with the international community to press the Myanmar government to allow access to humanitarian aid workers to Myanmar. Canada must leverage its reputation to end the violence and help the hundreds of thousands of refugees.

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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