Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee on Wednesday formed a citizens’ commission to investigate genocide committed against ethnic minority Rohingyas by Myanmar military.
The president of the civic group campaigning mainly for the trial of war crimes committed during the 1971 War of Independence of Bangladesh, Shahriar Kabir, announced the 35-member commission at a press conference at the National Press Club.
He said that they also initiated a move to form an international commission for a permanent solution to the Rohingya crisis that might affect not only Myanmar but also all the South Asian countries.
Over half a million Rohingyas have already crossed the border into Bangladesh fleeing violence, what the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing, in Rakhine state of Myanmar since August 25.
Nirmul committee adviser Justice Shamsul Huda, also former Appellate Division judge, was made the chairman of the commission while justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik, former Appellate Division judge, was nominated as its member-secretary.
The commission would make its report public in 3-4 months, said Shahriar.
He said that the commission would visit Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar and if the governments of both countries allowed they would visit Myanmar.
Shahriar said a secretariat of the commission with over 100 people, including journalists, lawyers, social and cultural activists, was also formed to help the commission.
Justice Shamsul Huda said that although the commission had no legal basis, it did have a strong moral foundation.
Justice Shamsuddin Chowdhury said that during investigation, they would consider 10 issues, including causes and effects of the genocide, Rohingya people’s citizenship crisis, if Rohingyas had any connection with terrorism, role of Bangladesh and international community and social, environmental, political and economic impact of the huge Rohingya influx.
He hoped that the commission report would hit the international community who would take effective steps for a permanent solution to the humanitarian crisis.
Commission member justice Kazi Ebadul Haque, also former Appellate Division judge, said that Nirmul Committee took the initiative as part of its humanitarian responsibility as the government’s lone initiative was not enough to deal with the crisis.
Retired Major General Md Abdur Rashid, also Institute of Conflict, Law and Development Studies executive director, said if the United Nations kept silent about the genocide, the crime would repeat time and again.
Commission member Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University vice-chancellor Kamrul Hasan Khan said that 60 per cent children in the camps were suffering from various diseases while at least 19 people were found HIV positive in the camps.
Bangladesh United Buddhist Forum chief coordinator Ashoke Barua said that they would raise the Myanmar crisis to their highest religious forum.
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