Stockholm 25 August 2018 The Swedish Rohingya Association. Declaration of Rohingya Genocide Remembrance Day Statement
1. We, The Swedish Rohingya Association (SRA), supports the inalienable right of Myanmar’s Rohingya ethnic minority group to self-identify as Rohingya. We acknowledge the ethnic group’s verifiable, pre-British colonial presence, history, identity and culture in Northern Arakan, which is now called Rakhine State in western Myanmar.
2. Together with the world’s leading scholar on famines Professor Amartya Sen (Nobel Prize winner in Economics at Harvard University) and the veteran anti-apartheid campaigner Desmond Tutu (Nobel Peace Laureate) we – SRA, fully recognize Myanmar’s decades-long persecution of Rohingya as genocide. This is a common finding of 4-independent studies published by Permanent Peoples Tribunal on Myanmar (September 2017), Yale Law School Human Rights Clinic (October 2015), Queen Mary University Law School’s International State Crimes Initiative (October 2015) and Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal of the University of Washington School of Law (Spring 2014).
3. We, SRA, unequivocally support the calls for international accountability and justice made by senior most UN human rights officials, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar Professor Yanghee Lee (2014-present) and ICC Prosecutor and President of the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber I regarding Myanmar’s crimes against humanity in the form of systematic and pre-planned and violent deportation of about 800,000 Rohingya women, men, children and elderly people from their original homeland, since October 2016, across Myanmar’s western borders on to the soil of neighbouring Bangladesh.
4. We, SRA, declare 25 August (2017) as the Rohingya Remembrance Day; on that fateful day the combined Myanmar Armed Forces – Navy, Air Force and Army – launched large-scale premeditated attacks against the substantial segment of the Rohingya population in Northern most part of Rakhine State of Myanmar, having used the invented “pretext” – that the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a 1-year old group of largely illiterate barefooted young Rohingya village men armed with farm tools such as machetes, spears and a few home-made grenades, had launched (coordinated) “attacks on 30 police outposts” in N. Rakhine, Myanmar government’s official story which has never been independently verified by any credible research, media or UN agency.
5. Finally, we, SRA, support the existential needs of several million Rohingyas violently deported by Myanmar government in periodic waves of exodus since 1978 to secure protected return to their birthplace and ancestral homeland in Northern Rakhine. This will require international protection, with or without the Security Council consensus– until such a time as Myanmar is ready to accept them as full and equal citizens, with basic human and minority rights, the official status which Rohingya had enjoyed upon independence from Britain well-into the late 1970’s.