Bar Council: Push-back policy is regressive and inhumane

Tuesday May 19, 2015 12:00:00 AM

PETALING JAYA: Merely providing food and medical help to the Rohingyas before towing their boats back to sea does not amount to humanitarian assistance, said Datuk M. Ramachelvam.

The chairman of the Bar Council’s Migrants, Refugees and Immigration Affairs Committee said this push-back policy adopted by several Asean countries was regressive and inhumane.

“Humanitarian assistance is allowing the boats to land on the shores and then providing the Rohingyas with the basic needs of food and shelter,” Ramachelvam said.

He said that Malaysia as the Asean chair must take the lead in ensuring the Rohingyas were rescued and given sanctuary.

“Each hour of delay is putting their lives at grave risk,” he said.

He said the receiving countries can decide later whether those rescued were genuine asylum seekers or otherwise.

Ramachelvam said Asean members must tackle the crisis by addressing the root cause, which was Myanmar’s policies towards its minorities.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Malaysia would make a diplomatic push with Thailand and Indonesia to engage Myanmar in resolving the crisis.

He said he would meet his Thai and Indonesian counterparts to work out a collective proposal under Asean for discussion with Myanmar.

Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Hu­­man Rights Organisation Malaysia (MERHROM) thanked Kelab Putra 1Malaysia for donating RM400,000 in aid to recent Rohingya and Bangladeshi arrivals at the Belantik Immigration centre.

But MERHROM president Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani said the world will continue to see Rohingya boat people as long as Asean and the United Nations fail to resolve the issue with Myanmar.

“Thousands more will flee the country if Myanmar does not stop the persecution of ethnic Rohingya and recognise them as citizens,” he said in a statement.

 

sources by ;http://m.thestar.com.my/story.aspx?hl=Bar+Council+Pushback+policy+is+regressive+and+inhumane&sec=news&id={9A24AFA3-59D1-441F-A6A2-DD044E01F050}

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