Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingyas has been dismal.
The subjugation and brutal repression of the Rohingya community continues despite Aung Sun Suu Kyi’s much-heralded government being in power.
Rohingyas have been shot, raped, and looted, and their houses have been torched to the ground.
This is the horrific reality of this minority community that inhabits Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
According to the UN, Rohingyas remain among the most persecuted peoples in the world. The world should not allow this situation to continue any longer than it already has.
The Rohingyas boast no freedom to speak of and their lives remain constantly under threat.
Is it any surprise then that so many of them attempt to flee to Bangladesh, seeking to escape the hell that Myanmar has become for them?
What is more problematic is how Myanmar continues to deny this state of affairs, despite evidence to the contrary.
This can be seen as nothing more than a systematic attempt by the Myanmar government to drive the Rohingyas towards our borders.
It is shameful that a nation state continues to behave in this way despite international outrage against such inhumane tactics.
Bangladesh, which boasts a significant Rohingya refugee community, and as a neighbour to Myanmar, has a role to play.
The Bangladeshi government would do well to impose strict trade sanctions on Myanmar unless and until the Rohingyas are allowed to return to their homeland and are granted equal rights as citizens of their country.
Bangladesh can do this by proposing such sanctions at the UN General Assembly, which would work greatly towards bringing the plight of the Rohingyas to the attention of the world.
The continued persecution of Myanmar’s Rohingya community not only speaks poorly of Myanmar, but of the rest of the world. No longer can the world stand idly by and watch.