On Wednesday, President Donald Trump met with victims of religious persecution from countries including China, Turkey, North Korea, Iran, and Myanmar.
In a widely circulated clip, a Rohingya refugee asked Trump what his plan was to help the Rohingya refugees in Myanmar.
Trump’s response: “Where is that exactly?”
Then, a man next to Trump said that Myanmar is “next to Burma,” but that’s not true. Myanmar was referred to as Burma until 1989.
Watch it all play out:
Rohingya man asks Trump whether there is a plan to help them.
Trump: “and where is that exactly?”
More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from the Rakhine State to Bangladesh since August 2017 to escape ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, according to the Human Rights Watch. The Rohingya have faced displacement and violence in Myanmar since the 1990s, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The UN has said Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims has the “hallmarks of genocide.”
On Tuesday, Trump handed down sanctions on Myanmar army Commander in Chief Min Aung Hlaing and three others over the treatment of the Rohingya, Al Jazeera reported. Deputy Commander in Chief Soe Win, Brig. Gen. Than Oo, Brig. Gen. Aung Aung were also named in Mike Pompeo’s statement.
“The Department of State is focused on policies that will change behavior and promote accountability. We believe this action is one step toward achieving these goals,” Pompeo’s statement said. “With this announcement, the United States is the first government to publicly take action with respect to the most senior leadership of the Burmese military. We designated these individuals based on credible information of these commanders’ involvement in gross violations of human rights.”
It continued: “We remain concerned that the Burmese government has taken no actions to hold accountable those responsible for human rights violations and abuses, and there are continued reports of the Burmese military committing human rights violations and abuses throughout the country.”