Ethnic and religiously motivated violence, burning of homes and hateful rhetoric seen in recent days are ominous warning signs of genocide in Burma.
An entire people are under attack not because of what they have done but because of who they are. More than one hundred Rohingya people have been killed and more than one hundred thousand displaced with the tacit or overt support of the government.
Burmese President Thein Sein continues to deny access to the international media, NGOs, aid groups, and the UN. He has instigated hatred and has even asked the United Nations to place the 800,000 Rohynga in refugee camps or be removed entirely from Burma.
The most urgent priority now is the immediate protection of the Rohingya. Please, take action today and contact President Barack Obama and demand for him to cancel his trip to Burma and immediately call for a United Nations observer mission to investigate the violence, deter escalation and hold the perpetrators of violence accountable.
Dear President Obama,
I am deeply concerned about the sectarian violence being carried out in Burma against the Rohingya people and the growing humanitarian crisis. In particular, ethnic and religiously motivated violence, burning of homes, and hateful rhetoric carried out against the Rohingya in recent days are ominous warning signs of genocide in Burma.
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While initial attacks in June could be described as communal violence between the Muslim Rohingya and Buddhist Rakhine, those attacks have devolved into systematic violence targeting the Rohingya. More than one hundred Rohingya have been killed, and 100,000 displaced. These attacks are taking place with a mixture of tacit and overt support from the military-backed government in Burma.
Over the last year, the United States lifted many sanctions against Burma to reward political and economic reforms. The leading role that your Administration played in scaling back sanctions on Burma obligates the U.S. government to act urgently to hold the Burmese government to its responsibilities to protect its ethnic populations.
I am calling on you to cancel your trip to Burma and that should you decide to go, it should be to organize a United Nations observer mission to investigate the violence, deter escalation and hold the perpetrators of violence accountable.
Your consideration of this urgent request is appreciated,