He called for a unifying message sent out to multinationals

Rohingya was just a word at first. Then it morphed into a horror story as I averted my eyes from the graphic images that accompanied the lurid texts. Some things are hard to ‘un-see’. And some things just call out to you as a fellow human being.

My interest in the plight of the Rohingya heightened when the seemingly angelic persona of Aung Sang Syu Kii came to personify evil – her silence, I felt contributed to the unholy massacre that was unfolding before the eyes of the world. Then I learnt about the military. About the Buddhist monks.

And then I learnt about the rapes. The burning alive. The genocide. Events were coming out initially in bits and pieces –– it was little known. It had become a silent killing field masked by the noise of Syria, Yemen and Palestine. Slowly but surely, the noise became louder – or so it seemed. Perhaps it was just that I had started to tune in more carefully, to filter it out amidst the loud bombings of Mosul and Aleppo.

I began to scan and follow as many Twitter accounts that emerged as the agony of the Rohingyas got louder and received its own headlines in UN’s radar.

A particular Tweet caught my eye, it was a call to form a team, a call for action; and not just another narrative documenting the misdeeds of the military.

I stepped into this team because I knew I did not want to continue reading about the brutality suffered by the Rohingya. I wanted to be part of a group of like-minded people wanting to take action, rather than just empathise.

It was in this team that I was introduced to Shahid King Bolsen. He called for a unifying message sent out to multinationals simply because countries are indeed basically dependent on businesses to keep the wheels moving. And Burma was no different.

There was no call for boycott. There was no call for aggression. There was only a call for constructive discussions with multinationals who were already doing good work globally – multinationals who would be investing in countries like Burma but who were already widely respected for observing the triple bottomline.

#WeAreAllRohinglyNow was his brainchild. And we were on a roll, taking positive bite size steps towards helping the most prosecuted people on earth.

Adelina Iskandar, Malaysia

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