I would like to thank you very much for allowing us to update you on the current situation. I am a Rohingya and although some of my siblings are still alive, I have lost almost 60 of my nieces and nephews. As an extended family member said, 2012 was an “active massacre”, or “active genocide”, as I call it.
My mother was a survivor of a big massacre that took place in 1942 when Burma was still a British colony. During that period, half of the entire Rohingya population was massacred. My father was arrested by the government and killed in jail in 1978 when there was an influx of refugees to Bangladesh from Burma. At that time I was just a grade 4 student.
I have gone through the report that you produced. My MP, Mr. Tabbara, is here, and I am happy to see him. I live very close to him.
I have gone through the research done by the subcommittee, and it was very impressive, although it is not 100% complete. As a native Rohingya, there are a lot of hidden things there that are not known to the rest of the world.
Before I address the current situation, I want to point out that I helped rescue boat people in 2006 and 2007. I was at the Thai-Burma border in a town called Mae Sot. I was there for about two years and rescued a lot of boat people who were stranded at the Thai-Burma border and exploited by the Burmese as well as Thai authorities. It was known to the Canadian embassy in Bangkok. I was the first person to help and rescue any boat people. Since then, the Thai government has prevented that.
Why I bring up these things here is that there are numerous, I don't know how many tons of, systemic plans by the Burmese government to completely cleanse the Rohingya community from the soil of Burma. They will do everything and anything. They will intimidate and they will kill. They will arrest you, and you disappear, or they will come and shoot in front of the villagers. Those things are now widely circulated on the Internet as well as various media. There are still hidden plans that the Burmese government makes every single day to either kill you or make you disappear. The only way you can survive is to get out of Burma.
Unfortunately, the international community, although they have belatedly come forward with strong words in reporting the violence, have fallen short action-wise on the ground. Active killing is still taking place. There is forceful disappearance, rape, the taking of Rohingya land, and the burning of them in their houses while they are still alive.
I can show you my phone as evidence. Every single day, I receive calls at any time. Even at 2, 3, or 4 o'clock in the morning, the phone keeps ringing. When I cannot tolerate it anymore, I just hang up the phone. It is not their fault. They are just asking for some advice, to find out what they can do, or what we can do. They are here. They took out my younger sister. They slaughtered.... They slit the throat of my father, and my big brother was killed. What do I do now?
Is there anything you can tell your government or the people around the world who have power and can do things to prevent these things? Those are the real calls, if they are coming every day—night, morning, evening, and afternoon.
I just would like to end there, honestly. This is how my life is.
I am honestly very grateful to Canada that Canada brought me here. I came as a refugee from Thailand. Until I came to Canada I was not considered a human. I was born a crime, I was born unwanted, and I only became human in 1998 when I came to Canada and landed at the Toronto airport.
That's where I would like to end. Thank you very much for your time.