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The Rohingya Crisis: Past, Present and Future

23 January 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Chatham House, London


Penny Green, Professor of Law and Globalisation, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London
Shafiur Rahman, Documentary Filmmaker, Testimonies of a Massacre: Tula Toli
Stephen Twigg MP, Chair, International Development Committee
Chair: Dr Champa Patel, Head, Asia Programme, Chatham House



In the summer of 2017, following intensified ‘clearance operations’ by the Myanmar military against the Rohingya community in Rakhine state, more than 18,500 men, women and children fled across the border to Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi aid workers claim that on a single day in September 70,000 people – almost 10 per cent of the Rohingya population – crossed the border in less than 24 hours.

Although the origins of, and responsibility for, the violence remain fiercely contested by the government, the human cost of the crisis is evident, with Amnesty International now estimating that over 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh.

This event begins with a screening of a short documentary, Testimonies of a Massacre: Tula Toli, capturing displaced Rohingya in their first moments of arrival at the Bangladesh border.

Filming up close in the midst of the chaos, filmmaker Shafiur Rahman presents evidence to suggest that, with the assistance of local village chiefs, the violence was pre-planned by the military. Following the screening, the panellists analyse the history of the Rohingya in Myanmar, unpack the crisis as it unfolded and the discuss the potential future for those who have survived.

How can this humanitarian crisis be brought to an end? And will any such resolution see the Rohingya refugees able to return safely to their homes?

Read transcript