Myanmar Violence Destroys Families, Hope

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News,World

The Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim minority in the predominately Buddhist Myanmar, are considered one of the world's most persecuted groups. Sectarian violence has ripped the Rohingya apart, including the family of 11-year-old Senwara Begum. (April 29)

SHOTLIST:

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Medan, Indonesia - October 19/20, 2013

1. Tight of Senwara Begum crying as she speaks to her family

2. Mid of Senwara speaking to her family on the phone

++VIDEO CONTINUES INTO SOUNDBITE++

3. SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Senwara Begum, Rohingya refugee (Transcript Below)

FILE: Sittwe, Myanmar - June 16, 2012

4. Various of Rohingya homes burned

FILE: Phuket, Thailand - January 1, 2013

5. Various of Rohingya on boat with children

Alor Setar, Malaysia - November 23, 2013

6. Various of Mohamad Husein, Senwara's brother, sweeing streets

7. SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Mohamad Husein, Senwara's brother (Transcript Below)

FILE: Phuket, Thailand - January 1, 2013

8. Mid of man distributing food to the Rohingya

9. Tight of Rohingya girl and boy on boat

Sittwe, Myanmar - November 29, 2013

10. Wide of Say Tha Mar Gyi internally displaced persons (IDP camp)

Sittwe, Myanmar - June 16, 2012

11. Wide tracking shot of tents for Rohingya who lost their homes

Sittwe, Myanmar - November 29, 2013

12. Mid of Senwara's family watching video of Senwara playing on laptop in her family's hut in the Say Tha Mar Gyi camp

13. Mid reverse shot of Senwara's family watching video of Senwara

14. Mid of Mohamad Idris, Senwara's father, wiping his face with his hands

15. Tight of Senwara's sister crying while watching video

16. SOUNDBITE Anowar Begum, Senwara's mother (Transcript Below)

Medan, Indonesia - October 19/20, 2013

17. Various of Senwara learning in an Islamic school

Bangkok, Thailand - April 24, 2014

18. SOUNDBITE (English) Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch (Transcript)

Medan, Indonesia - October 19/20, 2013

19. SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Senwara Begum, Rohingya refugee (Transcript Below)

20. Mid reverse shot of Senwara speaking to her family on laptop

21. Mid of Senwara holding baby sitting with new family

VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:

AN 11-YEAR-OLD GIRL CLINGS TO THE ONLY CONNECTION TO HER FAMILY.

IN A PHONE CALL SHE LETS THEM KNOW SHE'S OK.

SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Senwara Begum, Rohingya girl who fled Myanmar (speaking on phone to family):

"I'm fine. I'm not in trouble. We came here by boat and now I am fine because this aunt takes care of me and loves me."

SENWARA BEGUM AND HER BROTHER MOHAMAD WERE SEPARATED FROM THEIR FAMILY AFTER A MOB BURNED DOWN THEIR MYANMAR VILLAGE.

THE TWO ENDED UP ON A SMALL BOAT TO INDONESIA WITH 60 STRANGERS, NO FOOD, AND LITTLE HOPE.

MORE CHAOS FOLLOWED AND MOHAMAD GOT SEPARATED FROM HIS SISTER AND IS NOW IN MALAYSIA.

SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Mohamad Husein, Senwara's brother:

"I was very worried for my sister. We were just hugging each other in the boat. I wouldn't let my sister out of my arms because I knew how hungry she was, because I was too. As we couldn't eat anything, I got her some salty water from the sea."

THE SIBLINGS ARE AMONG HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS OF ETHNIC ROHINGYA CHILDREN WHO'VE FLED SINCE SECTARIAN VIOLENCE GRIPPED THE COUNTRY TWO YEARS AGO.

280 ROHINGYA HAVE BEEN KILLED AND 140,000 DISPLACED IN THE PREDOMINATELY BUDDHIST NATION WHERE ROHINGYA ARE CONSIDERED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM BANGLADESH.

TENS OF THOUSANDS NOW LIVE UNDER APARTHEID-LIKE CONDITIONS IN CROWDED CAMPS THEY CANNOT LEAVE… INCLUDING SENWARA'S PARENTS AND SEVEN OF HER OTHER SIBLINGS.

FOR MONTHS THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THEIR MISSING CHILDREN.

SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Anowar Begum (Bay-gum), 52 year-old Rohingya and Senwara's mother:

"I felt so sad. At the same time, I was happy to hear that they made it out alive. I couldn't do anything but cry for not seeing my children anymore."

DESPITE PLEAS FROM THE U-N, MANY GOVERNMENTS IN THE REGION REFUSE TO SIGN REFUGEE CONVENTIONS AND PROTOCOLS, MEANING THEY ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO HELP.

SOUNDBITE (English) Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch Deputy Director for Asia:

This is a very, very worrisome trend because it means that we'll see more vulnerable women and unaccompanied minors coming out of Rakhine state on these boats."

SOUNDBITE (Bengali) Senwara Begum, Rohingya girl who fled Myanmar:

"I will never be able to meet my parents from Rakhine for the rest of my life."

FOR NOW, SENWARA WILL REMAIN IN INDONESIA, RESIGNED TO LIVING WITH A NEW FAMILY.

MATTHEW BURGOYNE, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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