Thailand can no longer remain silent on Rohingya tragedy next door 

your say November 01, 2017 01:00

As two inveterate contributors to “Have Your Say”, we have disagreed on almost everything over the years and it is hard to imagine two more polarised ideologues.  

However, on one thing we are united: Our abhorrence and disgust of Myanmar’s persecution of the minority Muslim Rohingya over many years.  This racially and religiously inspired hatred and ill-treatment has culminated in recent months in hundreds of thousands of these hapless human beings fleeing into neighbouring Bangladesh to escape the murderous Myanmar military.  

They have fled to avoid the fate of many of their family members and fellow villagers, who have been murdered, raped, tortured, and had their villages and homes pillaged and razed. And according to latest reports, their livestock is being rounded up and their rice fields harvested for the benefit of Myanmar’s Buddhist authorities. The exact number of those killed may never be known, but it is safe to assume it at least runs into the hundreds, if not thousands, including unarmed men, women and children.

Slowly, the world is giving recognition to the atrocities, and the phrase “ethnic cleansing” is increasingly being used, not only by humanitarian organisations, but also by governments with a touch of humanity and conscience.

So we, Eric Bahrt and David Brown, as long-term residents of Thailand, join hands and call on Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha to summon the Myanmar ambassador to deliver Thailand’s condemnation of these atrocities in the strongest possible terms and to demand their immediate cessation.  

Eric Bahrt, David Brown