BRCA Media Release 25 September 2017

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Burmese Rohingya Community in Australia
Former Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon stand up (in Sydney) for
Rohingya rights.
Yesterday (24 September 2017) former Foreign Minister and NSW Premier Bob Carr along with Greens
Senator Lee Rhiannon joined the Rohingya demonstration at Sydney’s Town Hall to express serious concerns
about the injustices waged upon the Rohingyas for generations and particularly their current crisis.
In 2012, Carr visited Myanmar as the Foreign Minister to acknowledge the progress they had made towards
democracy and gave assurances of Australia lifting sanctions. However, it was clear to him by the following
year that Rohingyas were still vulnerable. His empathy for the Rohingyas seems unequivocal although it is
clear that an excessive optimism about human rights plus strategic and economic pressures swung against them
at that time.
Carr now proposes targeted sanctions to end the ongoing ethnic cleansing and the imminent genocide. “It is
now time for Australia to re-impose targeted sanctions on the military and the government leadership of
Myanmar. The type of sanctions I am talking about would NOT hurt the ordinary people of a country that is
trying to haul itself out of poverty. But sanctions against financial dealings of the military leadership, for
example; sanctions against financial transactions engaged by its military or political leadership. An end to any
co-operation between the Australian military and the military of Myanmar—an immediate end of that”; said
Carr, during his speech yesterday.
Senator Rhiannon reminds us that Rohingyans have been oppressed for over 70 of the past 200 years. They are
virtually stateless within their own country. She also stresses on the severity of the ongoing violence. “We are
gathered here with you today, to send our strongest voice to the world, to the world wide leaders. They must
speak up against Genocide of the Rohingyas; that is what we need. The crimes that have been committed: the
gang-rapes, the disappearances, the murders. This is genocide, genocide occurring in 2017. And that is why we
need to raise our voice in the strongest way”, said Rhiannon.
Carr also spoke evocatively of the denied rights, abandoned children, burned homes and unsanitary border
camps. Carr is without doubt a humanitarian. He promised Sydney Rohingyas that he will advocate for the
reintroduction of military sanctions.
Senator Lee Rhiannon reminded that Greens recommend immediate intake of 20,000 Rohingya refugees. She
spoke against Australian Immigration refoulements and pressure on Rohingya refugees to return to the Rakhine
province of Myanmar which is now famous for its burnt out homes. She urged Australia to increase in aid to
refugee camps in neighbouring countries.

Both speakers criticised the hopeless situation of Rohingyas being denied the rights of ordinary citizens in
Myanmar including education, employment and a vote. Rhiannon called for an immediate end to discrimination
against the Rohingya minority.

Media Contact, extra image:
Ahsan Haque
Media and Communications
Burmese Rohingya Community in Australia
Contact No.: +61 (0) 455 793 809
Mailing Address: PO Box 418 LAKEMBA NSW 2195


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