Target: Thein Sein, President of Burma
Goal: Urge the Burmese president to stop the inhumane treatment of the Rohingya ethnic minority
The Rohingya people have struggled with persecution and mistreatment as an ethnic minority in Burma since the nation was founded in 1947. The Rohingya are not recognized as citizens of Burma, and recently violence against them has escalated.
The Rohingya have been placed in camps where they are subject to numerous diseases, magnified in potency due to the malnutrition and poor living conditions that these people endure. Aid is being obstructed in various ways by the government, which leads many to believe that the government is taking advantage of this situation to purposefully rid itself of as many members of the Rohingya community as possible. For instance, the international aid agency Doctors Without Borders was evicted by the government earlier in 2014 and has not been allowed back to aid patients.
The horrid living conditions have pressed some individuals to go as far as risking their lives to journey across the sea in overcrowded ships to reach Thailand and Malaysia. Scores of individuals have died trying to escape from the camps, and even for some of the more fortunate refugees who have successfully made this treacherous trek, deportation is often the outcome they face regardless of which side of the sea they are captured on.
The roughly 1.3 million Rohingya estimated by NPR to currently reside in Burma have lived in the Buddhist-majority country for generations, yet are not recognized as rightful citizens. The government possesses the view that the Rohingya are unwanted immigrants whom the Rakhine people are trying to defend against.
Urge the president of Burma to end the inhumane treatment of the Rohingya people and grant them all the rights of citizenship, which they clearly deserve.
Dear President Sein,
I was horrified to learn about the devastating conditions that the Rohingya people have endured in your country. The confinement they face is no different than a concentration camps. Especially for a country that is reportedly shifting towards democracy, treating people in such a ghastly manner is inexcusable.
Members of the Rohingya community are dying every day due to poor medical conditions and inadequate nutrition. This can easily be prevented by allowing the health officials, who have been sent away, to aid those individuals in need.
I urge you to grant the Rohingya all the rights of citizenship, and end their brutal repression at once. No one should have to suffer such persecution and dreadful living conditions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Evangelos Petratos via Flickr