16 August 2023

GABRIELA Philippines | ILPS Commission 7

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Filipino women’s alliance GABRIELA and the women’s committee of the International League of Peoples Struggles issue its full solidarity with the women and peoples of Rohingya as they mark the 6th year since the Rohingya genocide started. With still no peace and justice in sight, GABRIELA joins the call for holding the Myanmar state accountable for the mass killings, rape, displacement, and other crimes against humanity that it has committed against the Rohingya peoples in its supposed pursuit against armed militants.

Six years since the deadly crackdown on Rohingya began, they continue to face persecution and ill fates both in their hometown and elsewhere to this day. The remaining 200,000 estimated Rohingya peoples in Myanmar are relentlessly attacked by state forces, especially since the reign of the military junta. Since the genocide, reports reveal that around 18,000 Rohingya women had been raped by state forces; 34,000 people thrown into fires; 115,000 homes burned and 113,000 vandalised, and nearly 24,000 killed. In 2018, an estimated 2.4 million have embarked on a mass exodus, while thousands continue to brave the seas to find refuge elsewhere. Just last week, at least 17 Rohingya refugees died after their boat capsized as they attempted to flee to Malaysia. Many found refuge in Bangladesh but are forced to live under inhumane conditions in cramped refugee camps, that just last year had also been hit by heavy rainfall, flooding, and a massive fire.

The hamletting operations and genocide the Myanmar government continues to employ against the peoples of Rohingya is no different from that committed by the Philippine government against our indigenous and rural communities. Ethnic and farming communities in the Philippines have been subjected to killings, burning of their entire villages, rape of women and children, and many other forms of state terrorism similarly veiled as an effort to curb insurgency. This has resulted in growing internal displacements, disenfranchisement, loss of livelihoods, among others. Fascism only grew and expanded from then on in both Myanmar and the Philippines, with great support from their respective imperial masters—China for the former and the US for the latter. Both imperial powers are providing material and political support to fascist governments in exchange for greater control over the country’s market and resources, while our peoples suffer from extreme poverty and grave crimes against humanity. 

As such, the peoples of Rohingya and Myanmar are our sisters and comrades in the fight for freedom and sovereignty. We must band together and hold to account repressive governments and their imperial masters, who seek to bleed our nations and peoples dry for the benefit of the few. We must link arms in solidarity and reclaim our lands and right to self-determination. Let us collectively demand justice for our peoples and push back against any and all anti-democratic forces in our midst! 

Together, let us break free from the chains of imperialism. Continue the struggle for the liberation of our peoples and our nations!#

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