Myanmar under global pressure

Hearing on Rohingya genocide at ICJ scheduled Dec 10-12

Global pressure on Myanmar is increasing day by day for the Rohingya genocide in Rakhine state of Myanmar. The pressure on Myanmar and its military forces has been intensified after Gambia, a West African country, filed a case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on charges of ‘crimes against humanity’.

According to sources, public hearings for the case is scheduled to be held for three days from December 10 to 12. Besides, members of the United Nations (UN), Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), different global human rights organisations and a number of countries are also expected to place evidences regarding the ethnic cleansing, mass-killing and raping incidents in Rakhine during the hearing.

Diplomatic analysts suspect although Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is a Nobel Peace Laureate, earlier had announced to defend Myanmar at court, might not take part in the hearing at last. Diplomatic analyst Waliur Rahman, a former ambassador, said, Gambia must submit all the necessary information and evidences before the court to make its initiative a success. They might collect the evidence from different sources, including Bangladesh. The crisis Bangladesh is facing due to Rohingyas refugees should also be highlighted. In total, it is a viable opportunity for Bangladesh.’

‘Lies that Myanmar is spewing as part of its refusal to take back 11 lakh Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh must also be highlighted. Meanwhile, various international and human rights organisations, including the UN, are very much aware of the torture on Rohingya people. They came to know about it from the Rohingyas, who fled to Bangladesh. They found proofs of genocide in Myanmar’, said Waliur Rahman.

He further said, “As a member of the OIC, we will be able to provide evidence on Myanmar's genocide and crimes it committed against the humanity.’ An official of the Foreign Ministry said, Bangladesh is preparing to present evidence in the December hearing. Gambia will be provided evidences along with video footage. The official said Bangladesh does not want to ruin bilateral relations with Myanmar and that is why Bangladesh is not a prosecuting party.

The Foreign Ministry official also said that a genocide case was filed against Myanmar by the OIC. The decision was made at the last OIC conference in presence of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The official said, “Question could have been raised on why did Bangladesh not file the case and why a country like Gambia did it. The point here is clear; Gambia’s case is strong because it has no geopolitical or any other motive. Gambia will present the real situation with information and evidence. Myanmar will be trialed for genocide if strong evidence is submitted against it. Saudi Arabia also had wanted to file a lawsuit.”

State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shahriar Alam said that Bangladesh favors a peaceful solution to the Rohingya issue. As a state, it has never taken any stand against Myanmar. The issue of genocide has gone to the international court. Gambia's Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou brought serious charges, including massacre, rape and burning of houses, against Myanmar in a 46-page charge-sheet before the International Court of Justice of Gambia.

Another official of the Foreign Ministry said that the case filed by Gambia on behalf of the OIC against Myanmar at the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) will be heard in Hague in The Netherlands from December 10 to 12. Aung San Suu Kyi might go to Hague to attend a hearing on behalf of the military junta.

Shahriar Kabir, president of Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, said the international organisations have all information while the 11 lakh Rohingyas, who survived the persecution of Myanmar's military, are the biggest evidence. ‘Bangladesh also has the opportunity to work in the case against Myanmar in the United Nations International Court. We have to proceed with caution. Suu Kyi herself is under pressure in the Gambia case. After this incident, all her awards except Nobel have been withdrawn” he said.