Fifteen years ago, nearly 260,000 Rohingya Muslims were pushed out of their own land by discrimination, violence and forced labour practices carried out by Burmese authorities. They fled from Northern Rakhine State, Myanmar to Bangladesh. Today, these Rohingyas in Bangladesh are trapped – they cannot return to Myanmar, nor can they obtain refugee status in Bangladesh. With little water, food, and medical support, they struggle to survive in unhygienic temporary shelters.
To raise awareness of the plight of the Rohingyas, Médecins Sans Frontières Hong Kong (MSF-HK) organises a photo exhibition on Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh – "Trapped for 15 years" which starts at the end of this month. The Kick-off Ceremony of the exhibition is successfully held today. In the ceremony, notable singer-songwriter Mr. Paul Wong, volunteer photographer of the exhibition, and another officiating guest, Dr. Sydney Chung Sheung-chee call for the public to visit the exhibition.
Dr. Sydney Chung, who joined medical relief work in Papua New Guinea before, shares that there are many things to be taken for granted by us in Hong Kong, including access to medicines and medical professionals. However, all these may not be available in developing countries. He is appalled by the poor situation faced by the Rohingyas in Bangladesh, which is even worse than that in Papua New Guinea. He calls for the public to visit the exhibition and pay more concern to the Rohingyas as "no one should have to live like this".
Mr. Paul Wong calls for the public to visit the exhibition during the National Day Holiday. He says, "For the Rohingyas, where is their home country? Bangladesh? Myanmar? The worst is that they are trapped and cannot find a place that is belonged to them to settle down. They can only stay in the cramped Tal Camp and have no way to go." He also shares one of his signature photos in the exhibition. "In the photo, the mother embraced her sick child and waited outside an MSF clinic. I could see despair and helplessness in her eyes. Thanks that there are MSF to provide medical care for them."
After sharing their blessings toward the Rohginyas, Dr. Chung Sheung-chee and Mr. Paul Wong, together with Mr. Kenji Kobayashi, President and CEO of Canon Hongkong Co., Ltd. and Mr. Dick van der Tak, Executive Director of MSF Hong Kong remove a net which is tightly tied on a photo of Rohingyas. It is to indicate that the Rohingyas can successfully get away from being trapped and find their home someday.
Special thanks to the key sponsor, Canon Hongkong Co., Ltd. Exhibition photos are printed by Canon Photo Printers.
Exhibition time and venue
Park Court, Level 1, Pacific Place, Admiralty
Date: 23rd September - 2nd October 2007
Time: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Central Atrium, G/F, Olympian City 2
Date: 8th October - 12th October 2007
Time: 11:00am - 8:00 pm