Correction: Norway-Myanmar-Rohingya story
May. 29, 2015
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — In a story May 28 about Nobel Peace Prize winners calling for an end to persecution of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the appeal came at the end of a three-day conference organized by the Norwegian Burma Committee. There were two conferences over the three days, one organized by a coalition of international groups and the other by the Norwegian Burma Committee. The appeal by the Nobel Peace Prize winners was made Tuesday during the conference organized by the international groups, but not announced until they put out a statement Thursday.
A corrected version of the story is below
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Several Nobel Peace Prize winners have called for an end to the persecution of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, describing it as "nothing less than genocide," and appealed for international help for them in Rakhine state.
The appeal followed two conferences in the Norwegian capital where participants witnessed video addresses from Nobel Peace Prize laureates, including from South Africa's retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi and former East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta.
"What Rohingyas are facing is a textbook case of genocide in which an entire indigenous community is being systematically wiped out by the Burmese government," the final statement said.
Held at the Nobel Institute in Oslo, the conference urged the international community "to take all possible measures to pressure" the Myanmar government to "immediately end its policies and practices of genocide."
Philanthropist George Soros, who escaped Nazi-occupied Hungary, said that there were "alarming" parallels between the plight of the Rohingya and the Nazi genocide.
Pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi hadn't been invited to the event, organized by several international organizations. During her 15 years under house arrest, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate won admiration for her fiery speeches and scathing criticism of the military regime that ruled Myanmar, or Burma, at the time. Her critics note she is carefully choosing her battles, in part because she has presidential ambitions.
In recent weeks, thousands of Rohingya have fled persecution and landed on the shores of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, often abandoned by human traffickers or freed after their families paid ransoms. There are approximately 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims.