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Where is the world?

  • Published at 12:00 am November 25th, 2016
  • Last updated at 02:32 pm November 25th, 2016
Where is the world?

Has the world turned its back on what could well be the worst humanitarian crisis of our time?

While sharing a border with Myanmar puts Bangladesh in a unique position of responsibility, the plight of the Rohingya people of Myanmar’s Rakhine state is not just a problem for Bangladesh.

Coming together to help the Rohingyas is a global humanitarian obligation, and one in which the world community has fallen short.

A number of wealthy nations, including the United States and Australia, have taken in refugees in the past, but are now refusing to come to the aid of what may well be the world’s most persecuted minority.

The disgraceful treatment of the Rohingyas in their own homeland is the fault of the Myanmar government and no one else, but other countries have a moral duty to lend a helping hand.

This newspaper has already editorialised calling for Bangladesh to open up our borders to the Rohingya people fleeing persecution. However, the challenge is too big for Bangladesh alone.

The US restored diplomatic relations with Myanmar after it moved towards democracy and away from military rule. And yet, the Myanmar government has not budged on its shameful treatment of its 1 million Rohingyas, who have, for decades, been victims of sectarian violence and denied rightful citizenship.

Bangladesh recently summoned the ambassador of Myanmar to express concern over the crisis. But conversations with Myanmar are not likely to be effective in bringing about reform.

It is up to the powerful nations of the world to put pressure on Myanmar, and impose sanctions if it comes to that.

Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi also has an obligation to break her silence and condemn the treatment of the Rohingyas.

The world cannot stand by idly as another silent genocide wipes out a whole population.

This is on all of us.