MASS GRAVES OF ROHINGYA IN THAILAND: ASEAN MUST END HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE REGION.
Dear Chief Editors,
Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM) was deeply sad to hear about the finding of more than 30 graves of Rohingya in Sadao, Thailand. This news is not new to us. Ethnic Rohingya who fled prosecutions from the Myanmar government are vulnerable and always ended in this kind of situation. We became victims at every stage in our journey to seek refuge in neighboring countries. We became boat people in our journey to seek protection. Thousand of Rohingya died in the ocean over the years. Every years tens of thousands ethnic Rohingya men, women, children and elderly fled Arakan State due systematic prosecutions by the Myanmar government. We believe many more graves of Rohingya in Thailand as we continuously heard about it.
For many years Thailand has been giving bad treatment for ethnic Rohingya who seek refuge in Thailand. We were treated as illegal immigrant and faced deportation to Myanmar. Ethnic Rohingya are not illegal immigrants. We are asylum seekers who fled Genocide from the Myanmar government and should be given treatment as asylum seekers according to the International Law. It is well-known that Thai authorities are involved in the Trafficking chain but nothing was done by the Thai government to tackle the problem.
We feel very sad that ASEAN SUMMIT 2015 has just ended with the spirit of ASEAN COMMUNITY but today we heard about this shocking news. This is the time that the ASEAN Government must deal with the Myanmar government to stop the gross human rights violations towards ethnic Rohingya.
We felt very frustrated that the Rohingya’s plight was not discussed during the ASEAN SUMMIT 2015. We are suffering for very long time. We hope for the ASEAN SUMMIT 2015 to discuss our plight but it was not discussed and our fate remains the same. Rohingya issue is not only an internal issue of Myanmar but it is an internal ASEAN issue that needs to be resolved after long ignorance by the ASEAN Government.
Ethnic Rohingya in Myanmar faced continuous Genocide from Myanmar government. But there is no real action taken by the ASEAN Countries and the United Nations.
We call for the ASEAN Government to intervene with Myanmar to stop prosecutions towards ethnic Rohingya and recognize Rohingya as citizen.
We call the Thai government to prosecute all perpetrators in human trafficking including the government officials.
We call the United Nations to send an Independent Inquiry to Thailand for investigation and publish its report for further actions.
We call the Government of the United States to take up this issue with the ASEAN Governments to end Human Trafficking in the region.
Zafar Ahmad Bin Abdul Ghani
Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM)
Tel No: +6016-6827287