Target: Laura Dupuy Lasserre, President of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)
Goal: Address and help resolve the current refugee situation taking place in the Rakhine region of western Myanmar.
Civil unrest is rocking the Rakhine region of western Myanmar (also known as Burma). At the center of this upheaval are two ethnic groups long in conflict with one another: At one end are the Rakhine Buddhists, a group that makes up a majority of the region’s population, and at the other are the Rohingya Muslims, a group the United Nations has referred to in the past as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities.
Although the tense relationship between the two groups is nothing new, recent actions have added fuel to what has now become an out-of-control flame. This most recent violence is thought to be a result of the rape and murder of a Buddhist woman by a group of three Muslims and the retaliatory killings of 10 Muslims by a Buddhist mob on June 3rd.
Violence in the past weeks has left nerves frayed and tensions high. “It is quiet here this morning but life has not returned to normal,” explained San Shwe, a resident of the area, after a lucky bout of rain extinguished many house fires. “We live in fear every day and night.” And now that ferry cargo deliveries to Rakhine have been halted, food shortages raise additional concern.
Looking for a way out of the war zone, vast numbers of Rohingyas have rushed the Bangladeshi border hoping to find an escape—only to be turned around at the border. Unable to escape, the Rohingyas have become desperate and are now pleading for outside help. “Our appeal is to the UN, foreign nations, the Myanmar government and especially to Suu Kyi,” pleads Mohammed Islam, leader of a Rohingya refugee camp in a Bangaleshi border town, speaking specifically to the Burmese politician and recent winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Dear Ms. Lupuy Lasserre,
Violence between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine region of western Myanmar is increasing with each passing day. Shortages in food and aid add further hardships to the already debilitated area. Now, as thousands of Rohingyas seek escape at the border of Bangladesh, they are refused entry and are instead sent back the way they came.
With tensions continuously growing, it looks as if the situation has the potential to grow out of hand (if it has not done so already).
As the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council, you are in a perfect position to look into the conflict in western Myanmar. I ask that you use the resources provided by the United Nations in diffusing the situation so that no more harm comes about.
[Your Name Here]