Myanmar president says monks, politicians kindling hate on Rohingyas

Saturday, August 25, 2012    No comments

Source from : http://www.rohingyablogger.com/2012/08/myanmar-president-says-monks.html

 

 

Myanmar President Thein Sein
An effort to read a message from President Thein Sein on the conflict in Rakhine State to a joint session of the Burmese Parliament was cancelled on Thursday, after objections from members of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party [RNDP].

 

The review of the community violence said some political parties, monks and individuals incited “extreme racial hatred” and encouraged people to “commit irrational racial attacks” against “Rohingya Muslims.”
The review also said some people did not understand that Rohingyas can qualify for citizenship under the Burmese Citizenship Law.
The review said that some Rakhine (Buddhist) businesspersons tried to take advantage of the conflict to get the upper hand on businesses owned by Rohingyas.
 It said some Rakhine  (Buddhist) bear grudges against the United Nations and international NGOs [INGOs] and object to their presence in the area.

It said that 75 per cent of the Rohingya population in the area of unrest lived in poverty.

To address the issue, the review listed several short-term solutions: obtain reliable figures on the number of Rohingyas and relevant immigration figures; to enhance security and establish more effective law enforcement; to cooperate with the UN and international NGOs; and to report accurate news and information from the area.
Long-term solutions included building all-weather roads along walls put up in areas of the Bangladesh-Burmese border; to improve communication between racial groups, to carry out the Sittway [Sittwe] civil project; to build a Sittway-Maungdaw bridge; and to improve the education and health of Rohingyas in order to promote and improved society.
Other specific steps mentioned included addressing the issue of land disputes between indigenous Rakhine and Rohingyas and to cooperate with India and Bangladesh business ventures to improve the area’s economy.
Also, included was the development of the Rakhine State shipbuilding project, to increase the region’s supply of electricity and to promote ecotourism projects.

 

Source : Mizzima

 

Read Full Statement of President in Burmese here 
_______________________________________________________________

 

YANGON: Buddhist monks, politicians and other ethnic Rakhine figures are kindling hatred towards Muslim Rohingya in an area plagued by sectarian violence, Myanmar’s president has warned in a report seen by AFP Friday.

 

In an unvarnished assessment of the role of Buddhists in unrest in Rakhine state, which has left scores dead on both sides and displaced tens of thousands of people, President Thein Sein also said ethnic Rakhine could not accept the Rohingya as fellow citizens.
Decades of discrimination have left the Rohingya stateless and Myanmar’s government considers their 800,000-strong population as foreigners, while many citizens see them as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh and view them with hostility.
“Political parties, some monks and some individuals are increasing the ethnic hatred. They even approach and lobby both the domestic and overseas Rakhine community,” Thein Sein said in a report sent to Myanmar’s union parliament – which combines the upper and lower houses – on August 17.
“Rakhine people are continuously thinking to terrorise the Bengali Muslims living across the country,” he said, using a term frequently used in Myanmar for Rohingya.
Thein Sein also said ethnic Rakhine could not envisage sharing their land with people they consider foreigners, echoing comments he made in July calling for camps or deportation of Rohingya.
“They cannot consider a situation in which the Bengali Muslims can be citizens,” the president said.
A leading Rakhine political party rejected the findings, saying it had already lodged “an objection” over the report to parliament.
“We don’t agree with their review… such a review should not be released in this current time…, it can worsen the clashes,” said Aye Maung, chairman of Rakhine Nationalities Development Party.
Myanmar’s authorities have faced heavy criticism from rights groups after clashes between Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine, which according to government figures left 87 people dead.
In response the government on August 18 announced a new 27-member investigating commission, including religious leaders, artists and former dissidents, to probe the causes of the violence and suggest ways forward.
The president’s review also found that the economy of Rakhine state had been decimated by the unrest, while both communities are suffering “mental trauma” after the clashes, which saw neighbours turn on each other and thousands of homes torched.

New York-based Human Rights Watch has accused Myanmar forces of opening fire on Rohingya during the June outbreak of unrest, as well as committing rape and standing by as rival mobs attacked each other

Advertisements

OIC delegation to visit Myanmar to assess condition of Rohingya Muslims

Source from : http://www.rohingyablogger.com/2012/08/oic-delegation-to-visit-myanmar-to.html

 

Members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) delegation meet Myanmar President Thein Sein in Yangon, Saturday. — Courtesy photo

DUBAI: The recent extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) released a 14-point communiqué to pressurise the Myanmarese government to stop the widespread discrimination and administrative hostility being faced by Rohingya Muslims in Arakan State.

This was disclosed by Professor Wakar Uddin, director general of Arakan Rohingya Union (ARU), in an exclusive interview with The Gulf Today on Monday.
He was in the UAE for a short period after attending the fourth extraordinary OIC summit on August 14-15.
“Two weeks ago, the OIC had sent the first ever delegation along with the Red Crescent officials and others to Myanmar, who visited camps full of Rohingya Muslims after they were forced to leave their houses and stay in these camps in a pathetic condition. The second delegation is all set to leave for Myanmar next week and that will be led by the secretary general, OIC, as an exploratory visit to find out facts about the atrocities by the Myanmarese police and other groups on the Rohingya Muslims,” he said.
The ARU was formed on the directives of Dr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the OIC, who called on the Myanmarese Muslims around the world to form a union.
“The ARU was formed in May 2011 and initially we had 25 organisations of Myanmarese Muslims working worldwide and soon others will joined us as a single platform to represent Rohingya Muslims,” he added.
Professor Wakar, while shedding light on the objectives of the ARU, said that they had three main objectives. “Our first objective is to engage with the Myanmarese government to reclaim our basic rights as minority, especially the citizenship right they have stopped since 1962.
“The second major task we have to fulfil is to bring overall development for the Rohingya Muslims in the sectors of education and economy, by providing them with basic infrastructure and the third is to start a dialogue between other Muslim minorities who arrived from China, India and other parts of the world and are residing in different parts of Myanmar and other minorities,” he said.
According to Professor Wakar, Myanmar has around 3 million Muslims of which 1.5 million are Rohingyas and are living in the Arakan state.
“The literacy rate among Rohingya Muslims is very low and only one per cent has higher education facility. We have a huge challenge in front of us to target this sector on a long-term basis once peace is restored in Arakan,” he said.
He further said that Dr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu had invited him to the recent session. “I was there to testify on behalf of ARU and present a 45-minute speech in front of the executive body and they were very emotional when they listened to accounts of atrocities by ethnic groups and now by the Myanmarese police against Rohingya Muslims,” he shared.
He added that next week a Malaysia-based NGO is planning to sent a flotilla consisting of over a dozen ships with relief goods to Myanmar. “This will be a major breakthrough and massive help for the Rohingya Muslims who are facing every type of discrimination, from proper food supply to a decent accommodation,” he added.
He stated that soon the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) would organise a massive convention in Washington DC from Aug.31 to Sept.2 with the expected participation of 10,000 to 15,000 representatives from around the world to focus on Rohingya Muslims.
“All major Muslim bodies, humanitarian organisations and NGOs will have their representation in this annual three-day convention to raise the issue of Rohingya Muslims on a wide scale,” he said.

Sources Here

European Commission (EC) to Myanmar: Give citizenship to Rohingyas

European Commission (EC) to Myanmar: Give citizenship to Rohingyas

Monday, August 27, 2012    No comments

 

Source  from : http://www.rohingyablogger.com/2012/08/european-commission-ec-to-myanmar-give.html

European Commission (EC) has requested Myanmar to provide citizenship to Rohingya people and ensure their fundamental rights for a sustainable solution to the issue, an EC official said on Sunday.
European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection office’s Director General Esko Kentrschynskyj said EC as well as the international community have been maintaining contacts to solve the problems of the ethnic community of Myanmar.
He said this to Bangladesh’s Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque during a call on at the latter’s office on Sunday, says a food ministry press release.
Such remarks came following recent sectarian violence in Myanmar’s Rakhaine State that left dozens of Rohingyas dead. Many tried to enter Bangladesh, but Bangladesh border forces returned them in line with the government policy.
Bangladesh repeatedly and clearly said it could not accept the Rohingyas, saying that sheltering them in Bangladesh would not bring any solution. It said there are still some 25,000 Rohingyas who took shelters in two refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar two decades back, but are not returning. Besides, nearly 4 lakh unregistered Rohingyas are staying in Bangladesh.
Instead, Bangladesh urged the international community to put pressure on Myanmar for a sustainable solution to the longstanding Rohingya problem. However, some powerful countries and human rights bodies criticized Bangladesh for its stance.
While talking to Dr Razzaque, Esko Kentrschynskyj said they have already talked to Myanmar’s foreign and social welfare ministries, immigration and border forces on the Rohingya problem.
Esko said they want to make sure that the Rohingya refugees are provided with humanitarian aid including food, nutrition and social security and helped for a sustainable solution.
Food Minister Abdur Razzaque said though Bangladesh has huge population and 31 percent people live below poverty line, the government is trying its level best to ensure humanitarian assistance to the refugees.
However, continuing such help for long is very difficult for Bangladesh, he said, adding: “The only solution of the Rohingyas is their returning home.”
Razzaque asked the delegation led by Esko to deeply engage the international community for repatriation of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
Disaster Management Division Secretary Dr M Aslam Alam, European Commission for Humanitarian Aid Office’s Charge De Affaires Andrew Barnard, its Dhaka office’s technical expert Oliver Brouant and Regional Support Office Head Peter Burgess were also present.

The Rohingya Problem: Why and How to Move Forward

The Rohingya Problem: Why and How to Move Forward

Wednesday, 29 August 2012 13:13

Dr. Habib Siddiqui

[Author’s Note: Keynote speech delivered at the International Conference on “Contemplating Burma’s Rohingya People’s Future in Reconciliation and (Democratic) Reform,” held on August 15, 2012 at the Thammasat University, Bangkok.]

As a conscientious global citizen of our planet, I have been writing for the past 32 years since my days as a university student on a plethora of issues, which include history, culture and civilization of the peoples of the South Asia and the Middle East. I have also studied and written on international politics, human rights and terrorism. In my decades of studies I have not found a people that are more persecuted than the Rohingyas of Myanmar, or what used to be called Burma.

Read more: The Rohingya Problem: Why and How to Move Forward

Rohingyas shops owner lose their property in Maungdaw municipal market

Monday, 27 August 2012 18:18

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Rohingyas shops owner will lose their property for non-maintaining of shops by municipal office, according to a shop owner from market.

Read more: Rohingyas shops owner lose their property in Maungdaw municipal market

BRAQA meets Australian Foreign Minister

Monday, 27 August 2012 18:16

The president Hossain Juhar and the Vice president Sayed Amin of the Burmese Rohingya Association in Queensland-Australia (BRAQA) met with Australian foreign minister Hon. Mr Bob Carr at a dinner on August 23, 2012, according to BRAQA president from  Australia.

Read more: BRAQA meets Australian Foreign Minister

Rakhines prepare to attack Rohingyas in Maungdaw

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 August 2012 21:04 Sunday, 26 August 2012 20:52

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Rakhine community from Maungdaw is stocking lethal weapons to attack Rohingya community in Maungdaw since July, according to a village admin officer from Maungdaw.

Read more: Rakhines prepare to attack Rohingyas in Maungdaw

Give citizenship to Rohingya : European Commission (EC)

Sunday, 26 August 2012 20:49

Chittagong, Bangladesh: European Commission (EC) has requested Burma to provide citizenship to Rohingya people and ensure their fundamental rights for a sustainable solution, said European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection office’s Director General Esko Kentrschynskyj, according to Bangladesh food ministry press release on August 26.

Read more: Give citizenship to Rohingya : European Commission (EC)

Page 1 of 680

«StartPrev12345678910NextEnd»

Rohingya mission to be launched on Friday

KUALA LUMPUR: Kelab Putera 1Malaysia (KP1M)’s humanitarian mission to Myanmar/ Bangladesh will be launched on Friday to help the oppressed Rohingya refugees.
KP1M president Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, who is also the head of the mission, said: “We are not going to interfere with the politics, we just want to help the Rohingya community.
“We hope this effort by KP1M will get Malaysians’ blessing. Please pray that we will come back safely so that we can give more help in the future,” he said yesterday.
KP1M’s observer team had left for the border of Myanmar and Bangladesh yesterday to gauge the situation at the refugee camps there.
Its purpose is to coordinate and make preparations for the main team.
The main team will depart from Port Klang on a Royal Malaysian Navy ship to Chittagong Port in Bangladesh, bringing along 450 tonnes of aid. The team will consist of 40 members, including doctors and the media.
KP1M will set up a clinic in Myanmar, with medicines worth RM310,000 for treatment.
There are two camps under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kutupalog and Nayapara on the border of Bangladesh with 30,000 refugees.
There are also camps that are not recognised in the vicinity with 100,000 refugees.
In Myanmar, there are two refugees camps in Maungdaw and Bathidaung under the UNHCR as well.

At the press conference here yesterday, about 2,000 Rohingya working in Malaysia came to give donations and moral support to the mission.

CURRENT SITUATION IN ARAKAN STATE OF MYANMAR for FORUM: ROHINGYAS’ SUFFERINGS : WE CARE

YAB Datuk Hj Mohd Ali bin Mohd Rustam

Ketua Menteri Melaka

Level 4, Suite, Block Temenggong,

Seri Negeri, Hang Tuah Jaya,

Ayer Keroh,

75450, Melaka

29 Ogos 2012

YAB Datuk,

I would like to thank you very much for inviting me for this very important and meaningful forum for Rohingyas.

I hope this Forum will be a starting point for all of us to put our energy together to fight for Rohingya’s Solution.

Your care and support are very meaningful to all Rohingyas in Arakan State and outside Arakan.

I look forward to work with you closely on Rohingyas issues in the near future.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Zafar Ahmad bin Abdul Ghani

President

Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM)

Tel : 016-6827287

email : rights4rohingya@yahoo.co.uk

Blog : http:www.merhrom.wordpress.com

CURRENT SITUATION IN ARAKAN STATE OF MYANMAR

for

FORUM: ROHINGYAS’ SUFFERINGS : WE CARE

29 August 2012

Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM) continuously receiving information from villagers in Arakan State on the current situation back home.

In recent development the Rakhine community from Maungdaw is stocking lethal weapons to attack Rohingya community in Maungdaw according to a village admin officer from Mungdaw. The Rakhines have been bringing lethal weapons such as long swords from different townships of Arakan State through Buthidaung by trucks and ships since July. The authorities concerned of Buthidaung jetty have been helping or pretending they don’t know that the lethal weapons have been transporting.

The lethal weapons were loading in the trucks and going to Maungdaw where so many authorities check points and it was also unloaded in Maungdaw without difficult, as the authority are helping the Rakhine community to attack the Rohingya community in Maungdaw, said an eyewitness from Buthidaung jetty. Every night, local Rakhines and Rakhines from out side have been sitting meeting in the Monetary how to attack Rohingyas and to stock the lethal weapons, said an elder from Maungdaw.

This is very worrying as Rohingyas are defenseless people compared to Rakhines who have all the support from the military and security forces.

In another development on 23rd August 2012 around 1.00 a.m, military and security forces along with many Rakhine hooligans torched Rohingyas’ shops in Foira Baazaar Village (Kamok Seik Rua) of northern Maung Daw. Consequently, around 40 Rohingyas’ shops were burned. It is believed that each of the shops was worth around 1 billion Kyats. Therefore, all of the shops were worth around Kyats 40 billion. This place was quiet and unaffected in last June and July because the villagers tried to avoid any kind of violence as much as possible. But Rakhine extremists did not want to see the stable situation of the village and therefore did the destruction of Rohingyas’ properties.

Currently, the military and security forces prohibit the Rohingya’s houses to have lights. The military order all the lights must be off at nights. This order only for Rohingya’s houses.

The curfew is still impose on Rohingyas. Sometimes the military allow few hours for Rohingyas to buy food from the Rakhine’s shop as Rohingya’s shops are not allow to open. On the way back to their houses, the local Rakhines beat the Rohingyas and confiscated their food and money.

Besides this incident on 21st August 2012 around 11pm, in Tharay Kunbaung village tract, some Rakhine extremists in collaboration with security forces, military and police destroyed an ancient mosque called Khala Masjid. When Rohingyas tried to prevent the destruction, military fired at them. Fortunately, no one died due to Military’s firing.

Currently Rakhines are speeding up their atrocities against Rohingyas and destroying and looting their properties as they might not be able to do more atrocities because there may be the presence of humanitarian workers, non-Rakhine people and investigations in Arakan State in near future.

According to local Rohingyas in Maung Daw, since last few days, Rakhines have been rushing to set up temporary camps (tents) in rural areas of Maung Daw. The few affected Rakhines during the riot are kept safe and sound in the monasteries in the area. But now even unaffected Rakhines and rich ones are planning to move to the camps for one to two days during the visit of inquiry commission set up by the President U Thein Sein. Though one cannot expect impartial investigations when the culprits who started this ugly racism and committed all the crimes themselves against Rohingyas have taken charge of the investigations, yet, reportedly, the members of Rakhine National Development Party (RNDP) raised some objections against involvement of some people in the Inquiry Commission Team.

Previously, the inquiry was supposed to be done within a month. Now it is delayed and will be done in three months. They are deliberately delaying the inquiry so that they can cover up all the ongoing crimes against Rohingyas and further delay the forthcoming general assembly in United Nation regarding Rohingyas’ case.

According to an internal source, Rakhine terrorists have been bringing the weapons such as guns and hand bombs etc into Arakan. They are keeping it in the places such as Rakhine monasteries and other secret places all over Arakan. They might have secret plans and want to make full use of the situation to achieve their long awaited dream of having independent Arakan.

On top of all this new development, Rohingyas are continuously being killed, raped, abused, arrested and tortured by military, Rakhines and security forces.

The Rohingyas remains hopeless and defenseless. Though there are lots of International Pressures the Junta remains the same. What else can be DONE?

There are many ways used by the military, Rakhines and security forces to destroyed the Rohingyas from the Arakan State. The ethnic cleansing policy towards Rohingya by the military did not happen today but since 1940s until now. The delay in the ACTION to save Rohingya will only allows more Rohingyas to be the victims of murder, raped and torture and finally there are no more Rohingyas in the World.

MERHROM would like to thank all parties who involved in highlighting the Rohingya’s plight from the beginning. WE hope for your continuous support until our problem resolve.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Zafar Ahmad bin Abdul Ghani

President

Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM)

Tel : 016-6827287

email : rights4rohingya@yahoo.co.uk

Blog : http:www.merhrom.wordpress.com

Statement from the Bangkok Conference on the Rohingyas of Myanmar

Statement from the Bangkok Conference on the Rohingyas of Myanmar

Source from ;  http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2012/08/22/statement-bangkok-conference-rohingyas-myanmar

Wed, 2012-08-22 07:06 — editor
By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
Bangkok, 22 August, (Asiantribune.com):

Myanmar (formerly Burma) is going through a deep crisis in dealing with ethnic conflicts, especially in its western Rakhine (formerly Arakan) state. To find probable solutions to the existing problems, Arakan Rohingya Organization – Japan (JARO) and Rohingya National Organization in Thailand (RNOT) jointly sponsored an International Rohingya Conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

The theme of the conference was “Contemplating Burma’s Rohingya People’s Future in Reconciliation and (Democratic) Reform.”

The conference was held on August 15, 2012 at Thammasat University, Thaprachan, Bangkok. Besides the participants coming from Japan, Canada, USA, Myanmar, Malaysia, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Singapore, the members from the local/international media, NGOs, ASEAN countries, and Thai-based foreign embassies attended this conference.

The conference was moderated by Mrs. Chalida Tajaroensuk, Director of People’s Empowerment Foundation and started with an opening speech from Mr. Salim Ullah, President of JARO. I was invited as the keynote speaker. The other speakers included Professor Abid Bahar (author of the book – Burma’s Missing Dots) from Canada and Mr. Azmi Abdul Hamid (Secretary General of MAPIM and a human rights activist) from Malaysia.

At the end of the conference the following declaration was made.

The international conference duly notes the followings:

1. The on-going violence against the Rohingya people of Myanmar (Burma) is part of a very sinister and calculated national project towards ethnically cleansing them that is orchestrated by the Myanmar government and widely supported and promoted at the central and local levels by the ultra-racist elements within the government and civilian population of the Rakhine (formerly Arakan) state.

2. The latest pogrom, which started on June 3 with the gruesome murder of ten Tablighi Burmese Muslims by an organized Rakhine mob, has already resulted in the estimated deaths of tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, and destruction of their villages, townships and schools, madrasas, mosques and business centers. Thousands of Muslim girls and women have also been raped by the armed members of the government security forces and local Buddhist population within the Rakhine state. As a result, nearly a hundred thousand Rohingyas are internally displaced, who are also denied access to food and shelter. Tens of thousands of panicked Rohingya population have been pushed to seek refuge or asylum in any country willing to provide them shelter.

3. The Myanmar government and the Rakhine state administration are guilty of practicing an apartheid policy towards the Rohingya people. They are also guilty of committing crimes against humanity.

4. The Muslim minority community that identifies itself as the “Rohingya” is an indigenous people of the Rakhine (former Arakan) state of Myanmar. They were neither implanted by the British administration since 1826 nor did they intrude into Arakan from Bangladesh after the Union of Burma (Myanmar) achieved her independence in 1948.

5. The 1982 Citizenship Law of Burma, which has effectively declared the Rohingya as “stateless”, is inconsistent with the United Nations and international laws recognizing inherent dignity, equality and inalienable rights of ALL members of the human family. Through its discriminatory laws and practices against the Rohingya people, the Myanmar government is in violation of each and every Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, making the Rohingya an “endangered” people of the 21st century who need protection of their human rights.

6. The 1982 Citizenship Law has essentially made the Rohingya an endangered people, the most persecuted on earth – as once again clearly demonstrated by the current ethnic cleansing efforts by the Thein Sein government that is enthusiastically aided by ultra-racist and bigoted elements within the Rakhine Buddhist monks and populace.

7. As recently demonstrated by the statement issued from the office of the President, the Thein Sein Government of Myanmar appears not to be serious about resolving the Rohingya problem in a peaceful manner that is consistent with its international obligations.

8. The Rohingyas are victims of neo-Nazi Racism in which they are targeted for marginalization and total elimination from the soil of Myanmar.

9. The statements from the so-called democratic icon Daw Suu Kyi and other leaders (including those of the 8888 student movement) have been deceptive, hypocritical and unacceptable revealing that none of them are serious about democracy and human rights.

10. The Thein Sein government has miserably failed to stop the carnage against and suffering of the Rohingya people, and as such, is guilty of abetting crime against humanity.

11. The Thein Sein government is guilty of evading its responsibility for protecting the lives and properties of the Rohingya people, who are not refugees from outside but are internally displaced because of the government’s apartheid policy.

12. The Myanmar government’s latest announcement of forming a 27-member commission to investigate the current unrest in Arakan, although a welcome gesture, seems self-defeating and inadequate for a transparent, fair and unbiased inquiry process. It is aimed once again to ease mounting pressure on the regime and to block or dodge a much needed UN inquiry. By including members who not too long ago had either organized or encouraged ethnic cleansing of the targeted Rohingya minorities, the commission’s intents and purposes are highly questionable, and appear to produce a document to cover up unfathomable crimes of the Rakhine community and Myanmar government. Regrettably, while the majority Rakhaing community is represented, not a single member of the affected minority Rohingya community is represented in this commission of inquiry.

Now, therefore, the participants of the Bangkok International Conference calls upon —

(A) The Myanmar Government:

(1) To immediately amend or repeal the 1982 Burma Citizenship Law thereby removing the burdensome standard of proof for attaining citizenship. The government should grant the Rohingya and other minority entities full citizenship and accompanying rights. The Myanmar government should furthermore sign and ratify the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and fulfill its international obligation to prevent statelessness of all affected people.

(2) To address the other fundamental human rights problems which have caused the Rohingya and other minority communities to flee to Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, India and elsewhere. Specifically, it should abolish the practice of forced labor in compliance with the 1930 International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention on Forced Labor, which the Burmese government signed in 1955. Towards this end, as recommended by the ILO, the Myanmar government should amend or repeal the sections of the Village and Towns Acts that legally sanction the conscription of labor.

(3) To protect the rights of the children, in accordance with the government’s commitment to children’s rights through its ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991. In particular, all children born of Rohingya parents (and other “stateless” minorities) should be granted Myanmar nationality, including those born in refugee camps in Bangladesh, Thailand and elsewhere. Children must not be forced to work under any circumstance, and the government should not discriminate against Muslim (and non-Buddhist) children in its provision of education benefits.

(4) To ensure that all refugees are able to exercise their right to return and must guarantee their full reintegration with full respect for their human rights.

(5) To release ALL its political prisoners, dropping all charges against them and their family members.

(6) To exclude certain members (e.g., Dr. Aye Maung, Khin Maung Swe, Zarganar, and Ko Ko Gyi, and others) from the currently announced Commission of Inquiry whose statements during the crisis had been anything but neutral, and had instead contributed to the added misery and suffering of the Rohingya people. For the inquiry commission to be fair, it must ensure equal participation from the affected Rohingya community. It must also ensure absolute accuracy and neutrality of the commission so that truth is not compromised in any way. Once the internal inquiry report identifies the criminals, the government must prosecute and punish the culprits in an open trial (and not make a mockery of the judicial system via a kangaroo court).

(7) To pay due compensation for the loss of lives and properties of the victims of the current pogrom.

(8) To repatriate and rehabilitate each one of the fleeing refugees who had fled or sought refugee status outside.

(9) To allow for an independent international inquiry at the behest of either the ASEAN or the UN to investigate the current crisis and to honor its findings and to take appropriate actions needed to not only punish the criminal elements but also to ensure through reconciliation efforts so that such crimes will never be committed in the future. (The government’s internal inquiry commission is biased and does not guarantee the needed neutrality required for an objective and scrupulous investigation.)

(10) To allow international NGOs and aid agencies to provide material and medical aid to the suffering people.

(11) To allow the presence of international monitors, e.g., human rights groups and journalists, to continuously monitor the restive region so as to provide needed and accurate information on a timely manner.

(12) To open a dialogue with the leaders of the Rohingya community immediately towards reconciliation, inclusion and integrating it within Myanmar without any prejudice.

(13) To understand that citizenship based on ethnicity or race is a feudal concept that has no place in the 21st century, as such, it must do whatever is necessary to amend its constitution to bring it at par with those of the civilized world.

(14) To understand that the protection of minorities against injustice and intolerance is not a matter of compassion or sympathy of the majority. Human rights in a democracy are held to be inalienable – no human being could be deprived of those rights in a democracy by the will of the majority of the sovereign people. As such, the government must correct its age-old xenophobia, hatred and intolerance of the Rohingya people through all means necessary including education and media outlets. By punishing the culprits – both the perpetrators and promoters of hatred, it must make it absolutely clear that there is no place for hatred and intolerance in new Myanmar.

(15) To understand that the failure to resolve the crisis — by amending or removing the Citizenship Law, which is at the heart of the Rohingya problem — can result in its leaders being pursued in the International Criminal Court (similar to those faced by the likes of Slobodan Milosevic of former Yugoslavia) for serious violations of international humanitarian laws against the Rohingyas of Myanmar.

(B) The Rohingya brotherly Organizations:

(1) To foster unity and work in their individual capacities at the local, regional and international levels towards promoting the cause of the Rohingya people so that their suffering ends and they live as equals within Myanmar. Any activity that is detrimental to Rohingya interest and unity should be shunned at all costs. Members and leaders should iron out their petty differences and find common grounds to unite and cooperate like organs of a single body.

(C)The Democratic Forces of Myanmar:

(1) To promote and practice true democratic values of inclusion and participation away from curses of racism and xenophobia, which are crimes against humanity. They must also ensure that they have no tolerance for all those hate provocateurs (the likes of Aye Chan and late Aye Kyaw) that have smeared their purported claims, goals and records about genuine democracy and human rights.

(2) To realize that the ideology of the Myanmar regime has been “Myanmarism”, which is arrogant, racist, militaristic, feudal, exclusionary and thus, self-defeating. It is a recipe for a ‘failed’ state, setting off perpetual war within itself, and destabilizing the region. Thus, all the leaders must work towards promoting the spirit of Republicanism.

(3) To realize that the Rohingya rights cannot take a back seat while demands for equality, freedom, democracy and human rights are sought from the quasi-civil-military regime. That is hypocrisy! The dissident leaders must treat Rohingyas as their equal partners and comrades, craving for equity and human rights.

(4) To ensure that the ENC includes representation from the Rohingya community to address and accommodate their legitimate grievances, especially those relating to the 1982 Citizenship Act.

(5) To effectively engage in correcting the old and false notions of exclusionism through education, preaching and reconciliations (much like what has happened in South Africa) so that the general public and government agencies understand that racism and discrimination against any minority community (including the Rohingya) are unacceptable and are in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If Myanmar is to survive as a Federal Union, enough trust-building provisions must be made so that every minority community – religious, ethnic, or otherwise – feels equal with other dominant races and groups. The true spirit of Republicanism, in clear distinction to ‘Myanmarism’, must be embraced as the only alternative for survival of a future democratic Myanmar.

(6) To understand that there is absolutely no place for neo-Nazi Fascism, racism and bigotry in our time.

(7) To also understand that their willful failure to arresting intolerance and genocidal urges against the Rohingya and other persecuted minorities are tantamount to promoting crimes against humanity for which they can face prosecution in the international courts (much like what has happened with Julius Streicher of the Nazi era in the Nuremburg Trial).

(D)The United Nations Member States:

(1) To press the Myanmar government to immediately repeal its 1982 Citizenship Act that is highly discriminatory and in violations of several international laws and charters of the UN and its member agencies.

(2) To press the Myanmar government to stop its inhuman and degrading treatment of all minorities, esp. the Rohingyas of the Rakhine State.

(3) To stop the ‘push back’ of fleeing refugees from Myanmar against their wishes. And, instead, they should be given shelter with adequate provisions for food, education, job and healthcare. They should not be barred from seeking asylum in a third country.

(4) To improve, through the offices of the UNHCR, the living conditions within the refugee camps, and to ensure that the returning refugees are not mistreated and abused by the Myanmar regime.

(5) To ensure, esp. through the offices of the ASEAN countries, that the legitimate demand for full citizenship rights of the Rohingya and other affected minorities of Myanmar are restored within the current year (2012).

(6) To ensure that none of the UN member states, esp. the ASEAN countries, reward the Thein Sein regime with trade and other benefits unless the citizenship and human rights are fully restored to the Rohingya and other affected minorities.

(7) To immediately demand an independent inquiry into the crisis through its own fact-finding mission.

(E)The United Nations Security Council:

(1) To pass UNSC Resolutions so that the Myanmar government is forced to repeal its highly discriminatory 1982 Citizenship Act, which has epitomized racism, xenophobia, inequality, intolerance and discrimination against minority communities like the Rohingya. The Act has effectively reduced the Rohingya people to be deprived of their fundamental rights to citizenship, movement, education, job, marriage, property and healthcare. The Act must be recognized as challenging the very principle and spirit of the UN. Myanmar’s membership to the United Nations must, therefore, be revoked for its monumental crimes against humanity unless the Myanmar government fulfils its international obligations by restoring full citizenship rights of the Rohingyas and other affected minorities of Myanmar.

(2) To ensure that the Myanmar government understands that as per UN Charter – Article 55 (c) and 56, Myanmar being a member of the UN, it is legally obliged to honor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and promote human rights and fundamental freedom for all without distinction as to race, sex, language and religion.

(3) To ensure that the Myanmar government understands that its genocidal actions against the Rohingyas, the Myanmar regime have proven itself to be guilty of crimes against humanity, and as such, deserve serious punitive actions from the UN — from annulling its membership in the world body to sanctions that force the regime to change its uncivilized and brutal ways.

To ensure that unless, the Myanmar government amends its ways to integrate the Rohingya people as equals within the state, it can face a total ban, cutting it off from the rest of the world, including losing its UN membership.

(4) To ensure that trade and economic bans are not immaturely lifted from the member states without a true change restoring the dignity and human rights of the minorities within Myanmar.

(5) To ensure that the Myanmar government releases all its political prisoners, and allowing them to leave the country voluntarily, if they so choose.

(6) To stop Myanmar government’s crime against its own people.

Reported ByDr. Habib Siddiqui, Director, Arakan-Burma Research Institute, [On behalf of the
Arakan Rohingya Organization-Japan (JARO),
Rohingya National Organization in Thailand (RNOT),
People’s Empowerment – Empowering People for a Strong Civil Society, and
ARAKAN-BURMA RESEARCH INSTITUTE (USA)]

– Asian Tribune –

Rakhine conflict proof of Burma’s ingrained racism, says academic

Rakhine conflict proof of Burma’s ingrained racism, says academic

Updated 20 August 2012, 14:19 AEST

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the setting up of a commission in Burma to investigate recent sectarian violence in the country’s west.

//

Rakhine conflict proof of Burma’s ingrained racism, says academic (Credit: ABC)

Burma’s president, Thein Sein, has announced an inquiry into the clashes in Rakhine state, where scores of people were killed and tens of thousands displaced by the violence in May and June.

He had earlier rejected United Nations calls for an independent investigation.

The establishment of the government commission came as news emerged about fresh clashes in the region.

Correspondent: Katie Hamann

Speaker: Dr Muang Zarni, London School of Economics

HAMANN: Whilst the west has gleefully embraced the idea of a Burmese democracy an ugly struggle has been building in the country’s west. At least ninety people are thought to have died since fighting broke out between Burmese Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in the state of Rakhine in June.

Burmese scholar Dr Muang Zarni is a visiting fellow at the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit at the London School of Economics. He is also a practising Buddhist and says the conflict in Rakhine state is symptomatic of deeply ingrained racism within Burmese society.

ZARNI: The NLD leadership, even the most senior people, who’ve spent years in jail, are racist, without knowing they’re racist and anti-Khalar. Khalar is the Burmese equivalent of the word ‘nigger’. And this is at the very top of the NLD leadership. From their perspective, it’s all about illegal migration from Bangladesh, that is suffering from population explosion.

HAMANN: In a report released earlier this month Human Rights Watch accused security forces of failing to defuse growing tensions between communities and standing by whilst mobs raised villages and attacked each other. They say the conflict has displaced as many as 100,000 people who remain in dire need of food, shelter and medical assistance.

Dr Zarni says there could be a more sinister explanation for the failure of the security forces.

ZARNI: There is evidence, very strong evidence emerging, from different sources, that the Burmese regime in Naypyidaw itself has a hand in whipping up this conflict.

HAMANN: Nobel Peace Prize winner and Democracy hero Aung San Suu Kyi has come under fire for her failure to openly comment on the plight of the Rohingya Muslims. When asked if they should be granted Burmese citizenship during her recent trip to Europe, Ms Suu Kyi said she didn’t know. Many Rohingya Muslims have been settled in Burma for generations. Despite this, they need permission to marry, have more than two children and travel beyond their villages.

Dr Zarni says Ms Suu Kyi is now an elected representative and focussed on re-election in 2015.

ZARNI: If Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD were to beat the military-backed proxy political party, in the 2015 elections, they will need to win in a landslide. Nothing short of a landslide will give them a chance to attempt to change the Constitution. So in other words, Ms Suu Kyi needs to keep the Burmese majority happy, ideologically, and that requires that she stays clear of the Rohingya issue, regardless of whether it’s a direct challenge to her image as a human rights champion.

HAMANN: The conflict threatens to engulf the region as yet more Rohingya refugees pour over the border into Bangladesh.

Bangladesh’s Awami League-led coalition government has declared it wants to empty its overcrowded camps and send the Rohingya back to Burma. Meanwhile, much of the global response has come from the Muslim world. Saudi Arabia has accused Burma of embarking on a campaign of ethnic cleansing and Islamic hardliners in Indonesia and Pakistan have threatened attacks against the government.

Dr Zarni says the world must act, because no one inside Burma is interested in protecting the Rohingya.

ZARNI: The racism against the Muslims in general, in Burma is pervasive across the majority, minority, civilian, military and class lines. And that is one of the scariest and most troubling aspects of this social transition in Burma. And the West has not spoken out against this issue, because the West is desperate to push its own strategic and commercial agenda in Burma. So what we have heard over the past one year or so, is that “Burma is a modern transitional democracy.” And so now, the Burmese democratic transition is bringing about not necessarily concrete and irreversible democratisation process but the most ugly racism the world is witnessing.

Myanmar sets up internal Investigative Commission for the Recent Situation in Arakan State

Myanmar sets up internal Investigative Commission for the Recent Situation in Arakan State

Saturday, August 18, 2012  ,  5 comments

Source from ; http://www.rohingyablogger.com/2012/08/myanmar-sets-up-internal-investigation.html

Click on Image to Enlarge

By HANNA HINDSTROM

Following weeks of international pressure, President Thein Sein today formed a commission to investigate the deadly sectarian violence in Arakan state, which controversially pitted Buddhists against the Muslim Rohingya minority in June.
The 27 member commission, headed by former director of the Ministry of Religious Affairs Dr Myo Myint, is mandated “to reveal the truth behind the unrest” and “find solutions for communities with different religious beliefs to live together in harmony”, according to the President’s website.
The new body includes representatives from various religious groups, including Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Hindus, as well as political parties and democracy groups, but no Rohingya.

A number of controversial figures have also been included, such as student leader Ko Ko Gyi, who notoriously called for the minority to be expelled from Burma, as well as the vehemently anti-Rohingya leader of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP) Dr Aye Maung.
“It is a good to form a body with people of various religions as the international community has been calling for the formation of an investigation commission,” he said of the appointment. “I assume we will be able to present the truth accurately.”
The Burmese government has faced fierce criticism for its handling of the Arakan crisis, which left at least 78 people dead and destroyed over 5,300 houses, according to government figures. A recent Human Rights Watch report accused the government of both failing to prevent the violence and later colluding in attacks against the Rohingya minority, who are denied citizenship and widely despised in Burmese society.
Although the formation of the commission marks a U-turn for the government, which until recently has rejected calls for an investigation into the violence, it is likely to face tough questions about its independence and reliability, as well as accusations of “window-dressing”.
Earlier this week, a coalition of 24 political parties, led by the RNDP, called for the removal of UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burma, Tomas Quintana, who recently visited the conflict-torn region, over allegations of bias in favour of the Rohingya.
“When the president offered me to take part in the commission, I asked for only one thing; that I want it to be really independent and transparent,” said commission member and comedian Zaganar, who has previously condemned discrimination against the Rohingya. “I said I don’t want to be a part of it if there are interferences and I was given an answer that it won’t happen.”
Some members have also complained about the lack of clarity for their role.
“It would be very good if the president were to give us a specific mandate and power to deal with the issue,” said commission member Kyaw Khin, General Secretary of the Myanmar Muslim National Affairs Federation.
“I think conducting an independent investigation would be the best for Arakan state. I’m taking part in this more as a citizen rather than a religious leader. I think it’s a good thing that we are able to address both citizen rights and religious issues.”
Tensions flared in the western state after the rape and murder of an Arakanese girl in late May, allegedly by three Muslims, led to a brutal revenge attack on ten Muslim pilgrims. It brought to the fore long-simmering distrust against the Rohingya, who are viewed as “illegal Bengali immigrants” by many Burmese, including Muslims, and denied basic rights by the government.
The commission is set to present its findings to the President on 17 September.
Source : DVB News

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- Friday, 17 August 2012 Special Video Interview with Rohingyas from Refugee Camp, Arakan- Burma (1)