Perak Sultan: Courage needed to stop Rohingya genocide

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — National and regional leaders must find the will to stop the mass killings of the Rohingya people in Myanmar, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah said.

The Sultan of Perak also stressed that considerations such as non-interference and financial concerns should be secondary to the addressing the sectarian crisis in Myanmar.

“We cannot allow fears of upsetting our neighbours; or fear of being accused of interference; or fears of affecting our regional trade and commerce to prevent us from voicing out our anxieties and alarm at what is happening in Rakhine state,” he said at a dinner to raise funds for the Rohingya people this evening.

In his speech, Sultan Nazrin quoted Myanmar’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who once said, “It is not power that corrupts but fear”. Read more

UM to host tribunal on atrocities against Rohingya

Source: FMT News

Dr Chandra Muzaffar who is organising committee chairman for Tribunal on the Rohingyas says witnesses will be called to testify in court-like setting. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: A tribunal that hopes to expose claims of crimes against the Rohingya and other ethnic groups by the Myanmar government, will hold a hearing at the Universiti Malaya in September.

Social activist Dr Chandra Muzaffar, who is the organising committee chairman for the Tribunal on the Rohingyas, Kachins and other ethnic minorities, said that the tribunal wants to expose the alleged inhuman treatment and push to stop the crimes.

“The process will be similar to a hearing, with the Myanmar ethnic groups testifying before a jury. Read more

UN rights envoy urges inquiry into abuses of Rohingya in Myanmar

Source: IRIN News

By Jared Ferrie

The front page of Myanmar's state-run newspaper on 9 February 2017 carried two articles about government attempts to investigate alleged military abuses of Rohingya. Pic by Jared Ferrie/IRIN

The front page of Myanmar’s state-run newspaper on 9 February 2017 carried two articles about government attempts to investigate alleged military abuses of Rohingya. Pic by Jared Ferrie/IRIN

The UN should launch an inquiry into military abuses of Myanmar’s minority Rohingya Muslims, because the government is incapable of carrying out a credible investigation, the UN’s rights envoy will tell the Human Rights Council next month.
Yanghee Lee, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, told IRIN that she will urge member states to sponsor a resolution for a commission of inquiry when she presents her report to the Council in Geneva on 13 March.
“I never said in the past to a reporter what I plan to put in my report,” she said in a phone interview. “This time I am making this point: I will certainly be pushing for an inquiry, definitely, on the Rohingya situation.”
Rights groups have, over the past few years, been urging the UN to investigate reports of abuses against the Rohingya, a mostly stateless minority forced to live under an apartheid system. But the calls have become more urgent since reports of mass rapes, killings, and other atrocities began to emerge in early October, when the military launched counterinsurgency operations.

Read more

Volunteers not allowed to visit refugee camp due to low safety level

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Malaysian Islamic Organisations Consultative Council (MAPIM) president Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid (left) handing items to representatives of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society at Chittagong port February 14, 2017. — Bernama pic

Malaysian Islamic Organisations Consultative Council (MAPIM) president Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid (left) handing items to representatives of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society at Chittagong port February 14, 2017. — Bernama pic

CHITTAGONG (Bangladesh), Feb 14 — The low level of safety was the main reason the Bangladesh Government only allowed 25 volunteers of the Food Flotilla For Myanmar to visit the country’s refugee camp.

Humanitarian Mission head Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim said the Bangladesh authorities were worried that they would not be able to control the situation if all the 182 volunteers went to the refugee camp.

“The safety of the volunteers is not guaranteed because they have found firearms at the refugee camp, that is why only 25 people were allowed to disembark.

“The Government of Bangladesh suggested that we come back in 15 days if we want to see the distribution of food supplies,” he told reporters after handing over 2,000 tonnes of foodstuff to the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) at Chittagong Port here today. Read more

Stop hurting Rohingyas, Myanmar told

Source: The Star

Newly arrived and long-term Rohingya refugees close to the Kutupalong makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar District, Southeastern Bangladesh, Nov 21, 2016. Source: Amnesty International

Newly arrived and long-term Rohingya refugees close to the Kutupalong makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar District, Southeastern Bangladesh, Nov 21, 2016. Source: Amnesty International

KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign Minis­ters of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will ask Myan-mar to stop its campaign of violence and hate against the persecuted Rohingya community during its emergency meeting here on Thurs­day.

The OIC’s Special Envoy to Myanmar Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said the meeting, initiated by Malay­sia, will also request that Myan­mar allow unconditional access to all parties, including the OIC, to channel aid to the community.

“This meeting will help keep the Rohingya issue in focus at the international level as it is very serious when there are allegations of crimes against humanity, of ethnic cleansing.

“We want Myanmar to stop all the military operations, hate campaign and encouraging violence against the community,” he said.

Syed Hamid, a former foreign minister, said the OIC has responded well to the strong position Malaysia has taken on the issue based on humanitarian concerns. Read more

Race to the bottom — Aye Thein

Source: New Mandala

Pic from New Mandala.

Pic from New Mandala.

The plight of the Rohingya highlights growing intolerance towards religious minorities throughout the region, Aye Thein writes.

When Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak spoke up for human rights of the “Rohingyas” in Myanmar, he won applause from his home crowd but drew opprobrium from the Myanmar government. Commentators wasted little time pointing out Najib’s action as a politically calculated move amid corruption scandals and eroding popularity.

While Najib’s talk of human rights reeks of hypocrisy (see Human Rights Watch’s report on Malaysia’s human rights records) and selectivity (Najib’s line that he attended the rally in “the name of the Ummah” suggests he was advocating for only the human rights of Muslims), it also raises the broader question of minority rights in ASEAN. With regard to respect and tolerance for minorities, Buddhist Myanmar has more than a few parallels with Islamic Malaysia and Indonesia. For instance, Muslims have been called fast breeding animals in Myanmar just as the Chinese have been called pigs in Malaysia. For all the excesses of Ma Ba Ta (the Association for Protection of Race and Religion) going after a few inappropriately dressed folks, Myanmar is yet to have Buddhist police to rival Malaysia’s “religious officers”, who enforce Sharia law. The notion and practice of bumiputera – Malaysia’s affirmative action favouring ethnic Malay Muslims – is not without its counterpart among Myanmar’s Buddhist chauvinists insisting that Buddhists are rightful owners of the Burmese nation and non-Buddhists, Muslims in particular, are mere guests. Read more

Nobel laureates criticise Aung San Suu Kyi, urge UN to intervene in Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis

Source: The Malay Mail Online

23 Nobel laureates, politicians, philanthropists and activists criticised Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi (pic) for what they called a lack of initiative to protect the Rohingyas. — Reuters pic.

23 Nobel laureates, politicians, philanthropists and activists criticised Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi (pic) for what they called a lack of initiative to protect the Rohingyas. — Reuters pic.

NEW YORK, Dec 30 — More than a dozen Nobel laureates yesterday urged the United Nations to “end the human crisis” of Myanmar’s Rohingya minority group, whose members have been fleeing to Bangladesh to escape a bloody military crackdown.

In an open letter addressed to the UN Security Council, 23 Nobel laureates, politicians, philanthropists and activists said “a human tragedy amounting to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity is unfolding in Myanmar.”

They also criticised the country’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi — herself a Nobel Peace Prize winner — for what they called a lack of initiative to protect the Rohingyas. Read more

Malaysians will protest Rohingyan plight with rage, then they forget — Zan Azlee

Source: Asian Correspondent

Newly arrived and long-term Rohingya refugees close to the Kutupalong makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar District, Southeastern Bangladesh, Nov 21, 2016. Source: Amnesty International

Newly arrived and long-term Rohingya refugees close to the Kutupalong makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar District, Southeastern Bangladesh, Nov 21, 2016. Source: Amnesty International

IT was only a few months ago when Malaysians grew livid and disgusted with what was happening to the Rohingya in Burma, accusing the Burmese government of not only oppressing the people but even of ethnic cleansing as well.

They carried out protests, chanted and fumed at the Burmese government. Even the Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak got in the act and attended a huge rally at a stadium organised by his ruling party.

Why a prime minister and his administration would need to organise a demonstration leaves a big question mark since they are in a position to create policies and use diplomatic ties to act. But that is not the point of this article.

The point of this article is to question what has happened following all the angry protests. It seems that as the trend of protesting in support of the Rohingya slowly fizzles out, the passion exuded by most of the Malaysian people followed suit. Read more

MP: Asean’s failure to help Rohingya ‘deeply disappointing’

Source: FMT News

DAP lawmaker Charles Santiago laments that Asean foreign ministers caved in to Aung San Suu Kyi’s sweet talk. Pic form FMT News.

DAP lawmaker Charles Santiago laments that Asean foreign ministers caved in to Aung San Suu Kyi’s sweet talk. Pic form FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP MP Charles Santiago says it is “deeply disappointing” that the Asean members failed to act decisively to address the ongoing Rohingya crisis, despite urgings from Malaysia.

He said this following a meeting of Asean foreign ministers in Yangon focused on the situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

“That Malaysia failed to convince other Asean members of the urgent need to act is deeply disappointing. Through continued inaction, Asean risks failing the people at its centre.

“This meeting should have been an opportunity to take decisive action to protect vulnerable civilians and hold the Myanmar government and military accountable.

“Unfortunately, though not unexpectedly, it seems it was largely an act of political theatre,” said Santiago, who also serves as chairperson of Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR). Read more

Decades of denial as Rohingya genocide continues — Nancy Hudson-Rodd

Source: New Mandala

Pic form New Mandala.

Pic form New Mandala.

In 1992, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights assigned a Special Rapporteur to monitor the situation of human rights in Myanmar. This intervention by the United Nations (UN) was motivated by the need to respond to grave and systematic human rights violations perpetrated by the country’s military regime against civilians, especially the persecution of the Rohingya. More than a decade later, at the 2005 World UN Summit, all member states endorsed the Responsibility to Protect, a global norm “aimed at preventing and halting Genocide, War Crimes, Ethnic Cleansing and Crimes against Humanity.” Still, genocide of the Rohingya continues.

Following a recent outbreak of violence on 9 October in which nine police officers were killed, the Myanmar military has declared the Maungdaw area an ‘operational zone’ and reportedly conducted lethal ‘clearance operations’ to hunt down Rohingya ‘militants’ accused of the attacks on three border posts, despite the assailants’ identities being unknown. Local ethnic Buddhist Rakhines have been recruited to supplement other forces, and are armed to protect Buddhist residents from Muslim militants “who never follow the laws and are trying to seize our land and extend their territory”, according to Colonel Sein Lwin, Rakhine State Police Officer. The new recruits will serve 18 months with border police then be deployed to police stations in their hometowns. Rohingya have little chance of escape. Read more