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The Rohingya Problem – Why and How to Move Forward By Dr. Habib Siddiqui

[Author’s Note: Keynote speech delivered at the International Conference on “Contemplating Burma’s Rohingya People’s Future in Reconciliation and (Democratic) Reform,” held on August 15, 2012 at the Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand] 

As a conscientious global citizen of our planet, I have been writing for the past 32 years since my days as a university student on a plethora of issues, which include history, culture and civilization of the peoples of the South Asia and the Middle East. I have also studied and written on international politics, human rights and terrorism. In my decades of studies I have not found a people that are more persecuted than the Rohingyas of Myanmar, or what used to be called Burma. 

It is, therefore, necessary that we learn of this greatest tragedy of our time so that we can work towards finding a lasting solution to it. On a personal level, I consider it to be a privilege to be able to speak on the plight of this persecuted people in front of an audience that care and want to stop their misery. I take this opportunity to thank the organizers, esp. Mrs. Chalida Tajaroensuk (People’s Empowerment Foundation), Mr. Salim Ullah (JARO or Arakan Rohingya Organization-Japan) and Mr. Anwar Burmi (Rohingya National Organization in Thailand) for inviting me to this international conference.

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