Monday, 18 December 2017

Australia must act on Rohingya genocide

Source smh, 17 Dec

Indiscriminate killing, mass rape and arson. Unimaginable atrocities, committed by Myanmar's armed forces, local militia and even Buddhist monks. Soldiers shouting anti-Muslim obscenities while shooting people.
Rohingya refugees on their way to a camp in Bangladesh.Rohingya refugees on their way to a camp in Bangladesh. Photo: AP
But believe it we must. It has gone far beyond a mere humanitarian crisis. This, the deliberate killing of a specific ethnic group, is genocide.
It has caused the fastest refugee exodus since the Rwandan genocide. Soon the depopulation of Rohingya from northern Rakhine will be complete. We must make it stop before it reaches that point.

Myanmar's murder of up to 13,769 Rohingya people – almost half of them in August alone – is a crime against humanity. It very clearly fits that definition, of a deliberate, systematic campaign causing death and human suffering.
Those murdered include at least 730 children under the age of five, Medecins Sans Frontieres has revealed. More than half of those children died after being shot.
Australia needs to step up and do something about this disaster in its region. We cannot afford to ignore the killings and displacement of around 835,000 Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh.

This is the kind of situation that radicalises people. It has the potential to destabilise the entire region. It poses huge problems that would likely directly affect Australia not only in terms of security but also a potential influx of displaced people (170 Rohingya have been held in detention by Australia on Manus Island and Nauru for more than four years).

This campaign of violence takes place within the context of a worsening human rights record across south-east Asia. From President Rodrigo Duterte 's extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, to killings and torture committed by Cambodia's security forces, communist Vietnam's oppression of basic freedoms of expression and religion, and abuses that continue unabated in the conflict between separatist groups and security forces in Thailand's north, Amnesty International has described  as "endemic" the region's human rights violations.

In Myanmar, those violations now appear to include its treatment of journalists, with two Reuters reporters arrested and charged by the government late last week, accused of leaking documents on brutal military-led attacks on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.

Australia must immediately condemn Myanmar's actions in the strongest manner, and call them out for what they undoubtedly are. We must end any co-operation with the Myanmar military.

And as one of the most influential ASEAN countries, as well as a newly elected member of the United Nations Human Rights council from January 1, 2018, we have a moral responsibility not just to act, but to lead by example.
We cannot squib it.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Joint Statement on Repatriation of Rohingya Refugees

by admin, 29 Nov
We, ARNA, the representative body of Rohingya community both from home and exile and undersigned the following Rohingya organizations, would like to raise serious concern about repatriation of Rohingya refugees signed between Myanmar and Bangladesh.
It is noted that the military powered Myanmar government now led by NLD Suu Kyi has been actively lying the situation on the ground, publishing reconstructed fake stories and deceiving with prearranged meetings, allowing incitement of anti-Rohingya sentiments, consistently defending military's brutalities and fingering the minor defense of Rohingya resistant group ARSA.  Now instantly signing the deal with Bangladesh without proper arrangement of repatriation andguarantee the rights and recognition of Rohingya refugees. It is nothing more than just an eye-washed to topple international pressures from the account of ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing.

It is well known that the 'security, safety, existence and welfareof the Rohingya people been fallen into the state that has been sponsoring genocideethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and war crimes and oppression, repressions, restrictions, confinements, persecutions, arbitrary arrests, corporal and collective punishments, permanently forbidden from livelihood and every social, religious, welfare, education sectors particularly from 25 Aug 2017 and Oct 2016, June 2012, 1994-95, 1991, 1978.
We must take into account of the government authorities' very clear involvement during the attacks that deploying of securities forces and joining the attacks on the ground, introducing (laws and orders, curfew) for Rohingya only tosqueeze the Rohingya villagers and openly allowing the aggressive armed Rakhine people trespassing and attacking ofinnocent unarmed Rohingya villagers, dispatching the gang members everywhere across Arakan, supplying one factory made arms such as arrows and knives, looting (goods, cash, crops and animals) and razing houses, allowing security forces to shot the Rohingyas, bulldozing the buildings those were not destroyed by following day and seizing lands of Rohingyas which were burnt down, disposing the  displaced Rohingya victims into concentration camps, blocking of aid and foods supplies and forcing to accept foreigner identity in the mid of humanitarian crisis.
The ousted Thein Sein government itself invited the UNHCR chief to relocate all Rohingyans to a third country in Aug 2012. Additionally, by member of parliament and chairman of Rakhine National Development Party, Dr. Aye Maung (a Bangladeshi by birth) interviewed with Venus News Journal on 14 June 2012 said  "the Rakhine state should be established in the same way Israel was initially established".
Lately, the current top military general Min Aung Hlaing said on 1st Sept 2017 that the ongoing operation in Rakhine state is 'unfinished businessfrom world war II.

It is therefore the resistance of ARSA like other armed ethnic groups should not be brought up as an excuse to forgive or weaken to overlay actions against tyrant, brutal, heinous crimes of central rulers and their forces.
The remaining vulnerable Rohingyas those in concentration camps and those confined in their own villages are systematically trapped, facing starvation and forcing to accept foreigner identities in exchange for ration supplies. As a result, many children and elders are dying day by day plus such situation compels them to leave from where they are now trapped, and execution of many of those escapees by Rakhine people.  

Similar pogroms were done in 1992 with the Temporary Registration Card known as (White Card)  were issued largely in Northern Rakhine (NRS) onto repatriated Rohingya refugees with promises of a pathway to recognition and citizenship and slowly achieved issuing to the overall population in NRS.  With such IDs required huge payment for attaining traveling permit and additional payment at least eight gates for one way to other town and reporting at 12 quarters upon arrival in another town, arbitrary punishment and fine also applied in case of failure to report on time.
Later, such IDs came to introduced in the Southern Arakan (SRS) and thereupon many acting Rohingya leaders from both Southern and Northern regions were detained for resisting it. It was not successful in SRS until 2002 and therefore changing the card's coloursome written words and forced to have each household to bear at least one that written Bengali race, or mix or non-description of race.
Now one more with new name, the so call-  National verification cards (NVC), forcefully issuing to indigenous Rohingya people. By Laws, the NVC card issuing is for verification of the undocumented non-citizens so it is nothing to do with Rohingya people who have been issued nationality identities, recognized as an ethnic group and having records of inhabitant. It is another factor to deprive and illegitimate the rights of nativeRohingya like the past that will definitely devaluate the dignity and existence of Rohingya.

Many Rohingyans refugees today reloaded in Bangladesh are repatriated former refugees of 1978 and 1991. The Bangladeshi government therefore need to take constructive steps to ensure the grantee of relocation, rehabilitation, rights, recognition and dignity of Rohingya meet standard as it is related to the existence of nearly a million of recent and the past arrival Rohingya refugees.
We concern for the agreement has nothing mentioned of Rohingya identity and recognition, nothing mention about laws and orders to bring into account for the military forces and their brutal crimes. It is therefore before agreeingof repatriation, it must review about how in the past similar military powered government had exploited the repatriation agreement consisted relocation, lifting restrictions, equal rights and rehabilitation.

As part of the development to see whether the government and authorities are fulfilling the promises,
the Bangladeshi government as a nation bearing of the biggest Rohingya refugees ever must ensure the Myanmar government to undertake its said promises to be delivered to Rohingyans and Kamans those are in the country. These must include:-
i) Relocation of about 150,000 of displaced Rohingyan and Kaman people (who are trapped in 42 concentration camps) to their respective displaced origin villages and facilitate with full rehabilitation programs.
ii) Official recognition of Rohingya ethnicity, existence and issuing of similar National Identity card with Rohingyan ethnicity written and any written descriptions on the card should be similar to IDs issued to Burman Buddhist people.
iii) Lifting all forms of restrictions, barriers, segregations, and guarantee safety, security and livelihood of entire Rohingya and Kaman people.
iv) Installation of Ms. Suu Kyi said rules or laws and bringing all perpetrator Rakhine people and government authorities into account for their crimes and end to the rhetoric of calling Bengali, terrorist, illegal immigrant and anti-muslim activities.
v) Ensure aid and food supplies directly to the victims, free access of independent foreign journalists, diplomats, UN envoys and UN Inquiry Commission.

We also would like to urge the Bangladeshi government, UNSC and its member countries, countries those signed the convention to prevent genocide, countries those have business ties with Burma, other countries those have heavily bearing the Rohingya refugees and resettlement countries those resettling Rohingya refugees, and funding countries, must jointly take effective action onto Burmese government to end the humanitarian crisis, to halt all forms of brutalities and crimes, to reload the rights of Rohingya, to persuade to uphold rules of laws to equally guarantee safety, securitydignity and rights of the entire population.

Endorsed by:
Arakan Rohingya National Assembly (UK)
Asean Rohingya Centre (KL, Malaysia)
Arakan Rohingya Organization UK (Uk)
Burma Rohingya Action Organization (UK)
Australian Burmese Rohingya Organization (Melbourne Vic, Australia)
Australian Burmese Rohingya Association (Liverpool NSW, Australia)
Queensland Rohingya Community (QLD, Australia)
Burmese Rohinya Community in Thailand (Thailand)
Rohingya Arakanese Refugee Committee, (Malaysia)
Ethnic Rohingya Community of Arakan, (Malaysia)
Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (Malaysia)
Rohingya American society (WI, USA)

For more information, Please contact:
M.ILYAS -UK (chairman): h/p: +(44) 7780 359718
V-chairman: MD.Yunus (GE): +(966) 53 274 0805
Habiburahman (G.S), (Aus): +(61) 406 310077 
Joint-secretary: Hf.Hashim Mamood (BD): +(88) 01 729 872581