Montreal City Councillors Demand Justice for Myanmar’s Rohingya Refugees


Marian Scott - Montreal Gazette

The Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies says municipalities have an important part to play in drawing attention to the issue.

A newly arrived Rohingya refugee child licks the cheek of her mother, Azida Khatoon, 20, as they wait in a food distribution line in the Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh in 2018.Manish Swarup / AP file photo

3 Apr 2019 – A municipal opposition motion will ask Montreal to join a Canada-wide campaign demanding an end to the genocide against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority.

Ensemble Montréal leader Lionel Perez and opposition councillor Marvin Rotrand said they will table the motion at the next city council meeting on April 15.

“While international attention has shifted to other crises, the reality is that the genocide continues in Myanmar, where more than 300,000 Rohingya continue to live in fear and where 140,000 waste away in concentration camps,” said Fareed Khan, director of advocacy and media relations at a press conference at city hall.

He estimated that as many as 1.3 million Rohingya refugees are living in a vast camp in Bangladesh. However, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has estimated the number at more than 700,000.

While obviously it’s the federal government — not municipalities — that holds the levers on international issues, Khan and Kyle Matthews, executive director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) at Concordia University, said municipalities have an important part to play in drawing attention to the issue.

“We’re asking municipal governments, the governments that are closest to Canadians, to call on the Canadian government to live up to its international legal obligations and to take leadership on the international stage to bring justice to the Rohingya,” Khan said.

A similar motion will be tabled in Toronto’s city council on April 16, the councillors said.

Canada took a leadership role in denouncing the genocide against the Rohingya, but now it should take the next step by invoking the international Genocide Convention to hold Myanmar responsible for atrocities, Khan said.

Perez called on the federal government to show the same generosity to the Rohingya it has demonstrated to Syrian refugees.

In addition to pressing Ottawa to bring the case before the International Court of Justice, the motion asks for the release of journalists imprisoned by Myanmar, access for outside investigators and an increase in humanitarian aid to Bangladesh.

The Rohingya exodus began after a brutal crackdown in 2017. Myanmar has denied accusations of genocide. However, in 2018, Canada revoked the honorary citizenship it had awarded to the country’s leader Myanmar’s leader, Aung Sun Suu Kyi.


Marian Scott  –

Go to Original –

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Share this article:

DISCLAIMER: In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

There are no comments so far.

Join the discussion!

We welcome debate and dissent, but personal — ad hominem — attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), abuse and defamatory language will not be tolerated. Nor will we tolerate attempts to deliberately disrupt discussions. We aim to maintain an inviting space to focus on intelligent interactions and debates.



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.