URGENT PRESS STATEMENT
18 May 2015
Dear Chief Editor,
ROHINGYA PLIGHTS: ASEAN AND UNITED NATIONS MUST FACE MYANMAR GOVERNMENT FOR REAL SOLUTION.
Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia (MERHROM) is deeply sad over the recent tragedy of thousands of boat people involving ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar and Bangladeshis. This is prove that ethnic Rohingya in Myanmar facing continuous systematic prosecutions from the Myanmar government. We face gross human rights violations by the state, we became victims of Genocide for generations and left to die in horrible makeshift camps in our own homeland without food, water and medicine supply from the government.
Due to horrible situation we face in our homeland, we take risks to flee the country to seek refuge in other countries. We feel very sad to hear that thousands boat people were turn back to the see as the neighboring countries were refuse to give protection to new asylum seekers. Currently estimated 8,000 boat people are abandon in the ocean and had nowhere to go. How long they can survive with little food, water and medicine? What will happen to them in the uncertain ocean? Death is on their way. They are already more than 2 months in the ocean. They are starving and dehydrated and sick. There are big numbers of women and children in the boats.
From January-March 2015 estimated 25,000 ethnic Rohingya and Bangladeshi became boat people. Thousands more ethnic Rohingya will flee the country if Myanmar did not stop the prosecutions on ethnic Rohingya and recognized Rohingya as citizen by Law.
If ASEAN and United Nations fail to resolve Rohingya plights with Myanmar, the world will continue to see Rohingya boat people who risk their lives to seek refuge in other countries. It will become catastrophe that world cannot forget.
We are very frustrated with UNHCR as they keep quiet at this very critical time. Human lives are at risk but UNHCR remains quiet. We are talking about asylum seekers who are persons of concerns to UNHCR but what are they doing? UNHCR must play a vital role in the whole issue of Rohingya. We cannot see the role of UNHCR except renewing the UNHCR card hold by refugees as they no more registering newly arrived Rohingya asylum seekers.
Don’t we have the feeling to make a search and rescue first and later decide on how to resolve the issue? Don’t we have the feeling that lives must be saved first before we decide on the rest? Do we feel these boat people lives are very cheap and value less? Don’t we have the feeling to see babies, children, women and elderly suffers along their way to seek refuge in other place? Don’t we think how dangerous the way that they had gone through for the sake of their lives?
We thank you very much to the Kelab Putra Satu Malaysia who came forward to help the newly arrived Rohingya asylum seekers. We really appreciate what you have done to help us since the conflict in 2012 in our country. We continuously look for your love and support for us. We heard some people suggesting that the aid to be sent to the boat people in the ocean. This is a temporary help to them, we cannot be sending food and water to them every day, for how long? Solution must be made.
We do not know if these boats still have oil. If the oil finish we do not know where they will arrive and how far they can go. Can we just wait and see what will happen to them? Do we wait to search for their death bodies after their boats sinking in the ocean? We appeal to the ASEAN and other countries such as Australia to initiate the search and rescue mission.
Some ASEAN countries including Malaysia have signed CEDAW and CRC. These two Conventions apply regardless nationality and immigration status. Therefore we call on the Malaysia and other ASEAN countries to give immediate protection to asylum seekers especially for women and children as they are vulnerable.
We call on the ASEAN government that the boat people must be rescued and be given treatment first before they die. Meanwhile the ASEAN government and the United Nations must meet immediately to find solutions towards Rohingya plights. The United Nations and the UNHCR specifically must intervene urgently as this involves the lives of asylum seekers who required International protection.
We hope very much on the Malaysian government to play their role as much as possible as a Chairman of ASEAN and member of the UN Security Council to help us.
We call on the United States government and other countries to give urgent protection and immediate documentation and resettlement to these victims of human trafficking under the Trafficking in Persons Act.
We call on UNHCR to step in and have a meeting with Malaysian, Thai and Indonesian government for documentation process by both UNHCR and respective government.
We call on the United Nations to play a vital role to stop Genocide towards ethnic Rohingya in Myanmar. Economic and Political Sanction must be made to Myanmar in order to compel Myanmar to stop Genocide towards ethnic Rohingya who are the most prosecuted ethnic in the world.
We call on the Myanmar government to come forward and attend the meeting in Bangkok to address the whole long standing Rohingya plight.
We call on the ASEAN government to Crackdown on Human Trafficking Network. All Agencies in ASEAN must work in Comprehensive Framework to stop human trafficking. Stern action must be taken to human traffickers and its networks. In lights to this new development, A Comprehensive Action Plan needs to be developed to curb human trafficking starting from host country, transit and destination countries.
We call on Malaysia as a Chairman of ASEAN to call for a specific meeting to discuss the issue. The meeting must involve all ASEAN countries as Rohingya boat people will arrive not only in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia but also in other ASEAN countries in future. Previously Rohingya has arrive in Cambodia and Singapore.
We call on the ASEAN and United Nations to continuously pressure the Myanmar government to stop continuous prosecutions on ethnic Rohingya and recognized Rohingya as citizen in 1982 Citizenship Law.
In this very critical situation, MERHROM urge the United Nations Security Council, US Government, British Government, European Union, World Leaders, OIC, ASEAN and International Communities to:
We hope very much the meeting in Bangkok will find immediate and long term solution to Rohingya plights.
Zafar Ahmad Bin Abdul Ghani
President of Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM)
Tel No: +6016-6827287
Mr. Zafar Ahmad bin Abdul Ghani,
President of Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia( MERHROM )