Since I wrote my last blog on the plight of Rohingya on January 28th, the Vancouver Sun of February 2, 2018 has reported The Associated Press confirming "the existence of five new Rohingya mass graves." This is further evidence, if any was needed, of the "systematic slaughter of the persecuted Muslim minority in Mayanmar's western Rakhine state."
The evidence from the new graves strongly indicates "the military crackdown to have involved crimes against humanity." According to the UN special envoy the evidence "bore the hallmarks of genocide."
The finding of the new graves and the comments by the UN and other observers heighten the very real fear that the planned return of the over 700,000 refugees from the neighbouring Bangladesh to Mayanmar is fraught with danger. The new reception camps being constructed for the returnees, "plywood homes surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by soldiers", only exacerbate the fears that the returnees may be headed into "grim ghettos" reminiscent of the atrocities committed by the Nazis.
Numerous published reports based on refugee interviews show severely traumatised men, women and children, extremely frightened and unwilling to return to the terror that could be their fate, particularly so given the absence of a robust presence of United Nations or other international observers on the ground in Mayanmar.
It is shameful that so far the response of the international community including Canada's has been less than anaemic; it has only emboldened the Butchers of Mayanmar and encouraged nay legitimized the inexplicable and unbearable silence of its head of state Suu Kyi.
It is time the world took notice, stood up and spoke out!