People's tribunal to highlight atrocities against the Rohingya, Kachins in Myanmar

05 Jul 2017 / 08:20 H.

PETALING JAYA: A peoples tribunal on the atrocities and state crimes against the Rohingya, Kachins and other ethnic minority groups in Myanmar will be held at Universiti Malaya in September.
The opinion tribunal, the Rome-based Permanent People's Tribunal (PPT) held its inaugural meeting in the University of London earlier this year in March. The tribunal had urged the United Nations and the Asean to take swift action and effective measures to stop these crimes against the Rohingya's and the Kachins.
The tribunal also heard strong condemnations and criticisms from leaders of the minority groups living in exile in the United Kingdom leveled at Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD).
Social activist Dr Chandra Muzaffar who is the chairman of the organising committee of the tribunal said that since the last tribunal, neither the UN nor the Asean has responded effectively.
"The tribunal will be held in the form of a moot court hearing where experts on the issues of genocide, human rights and mass killings will play the role of juror," said Chandra.
"Refugees who had personally experienced and who were eyewitnesses to events surrounding the violence committed will be testifying," he added.
From there the panelists will make a conclusion based on oral testimonies on the atrocities and present their findings to the United Nation's Fact Finding Mission that was tasked to send its' official to Yangon.
Although the tribunal is not legally binding, Chandra believes that the findings of these tribunals will bring to the public eye the atrocities that are still taking place in Myanmar.
"We hope to make findings present to the public and to push the Asean governments, including Myanmar, to stop the genocide," he said.
When asked if representatives from the Myanmar embassy would turn up for the tribunal, Chandra said that, although they will be invited to participate, they most likely would not attend, just like they did in London.
Chandra was talking at a press conference together with Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) chief executive Azril Mohd Amin and International Forum on Buddhist-Muslim Relations' (BMF) secretary KV Soon.
The tribunal will be held on Sept 18 to 22 at Universiti Malaya's Law Faculty in Kuala Lumpur.
Over 300 ethnic Rohingyas, Kachins and other groups, who are refugees here are expected to testify.

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