Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz urged the international human rights organizations to launch a BDS (Boycott-Divestment- Sanction) movement against Myanmar to compel the government to ensure the repatriation of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh. Riaz made this call at a conference at the University of California Berkeley on February 7. The conference titled “Beyond the Crisis Narrative: Rohingya Statelessness and it’s Implications for Bangladesh” Was organized by The Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), American Institute of Bangladesh Studies (AIBS), the Institute for South Asia Studies, and the Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies. Riaz said that global civil society should start the punitive measure soon. Almost a million members of the Rohingya ethnic group from Myanmar has fled the western state of Rakhine to Bangladesh in 2017 facing ethnic cleansing by the Myanmar’s military. Riaz, in a panel presentation at the University of California Berkeley, on February 7, said that the crisis has resulted from the China’s endeavor to expand its sphere of influence in Asia. Myanmar government has denied of committing genocide and China has extended its support to Myanmar. China has committed big investments in Rakhine state and build a deep sea port to transport oil to China. Riaz also criticized other Asian countries for continued investments in Myanmar. Singapore has the largest foreign direct investment in Myanmar. Japan has also large investments and India has built a port to facilitate its trading. Recently the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has issued four provisional instructions to Myanmar regrading the protection of the Rohingyas within Myanmar. International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing a case against Myanmar for committing genocide.
Professor Riaz also presented to a group of congressional staff members at Washington DC on the Rohingya crisis on 10 February. The panel was held at the Rayburn House Office Building. Riaz insisted that Myanmar government will try to adopt a strategy of delaying implementation of the ICJ provisional measures. He urged the US Congress to take effective measures against Myanmar government. Panelists included Rohingya activists, members of human rights groups and women’s right groups