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

Sold into marriage: How Rohingya girls become child brides in Malaysia

Source: Reuters via The Malay Mail Online

Under Islamic law, Muslim girls under 16 can marry with permission from the Shariah court, though in the case of the Rohingya marriages in Malaysia there is no court involvement. — Reuters pic

Under Islamic law, Muslim girls under 16 can marry with permission from the Shariah court, though in the case of the Rohingya marriages in Malaysia there is no court involvement. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — The slight girl in a turquoise headscarf held back tears as she recalled what happened when she fled to Malaysia from Myanmar’s violence-hit Rakhine state. Just 12-years-old at the time, she was forced to wed a man she did not know, and who was more than a decade older than her.

The teenager, who is not being named by Reuters because she is still only 13, is like hundreds of Rohingya girls escaping persecution, violence and apartheid-like conditions in Rakhine, only to be sold into marriage to Rohingya men in neighbouring Malaysia, migrant groups and community members said.

Separated from her family while escaping to Malaysia, she said she was caught by traffickers and held for weeks in a filthy and brutal jungle camp near the Thai-Malaysian border with dozens of others. Her captors told her a Rohingya man was willing to give her freedom if she agreed to marry him.

“The (trafficking) agent said I had been sold to a man and I asked, how could do they do that?… My heart was heavy and I was scared,” the girl said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur. 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

Confronting genocide in Myanmar — Katherine Southwick

Source: New Mandala

Interethnic divisions in a young democracy cannot be downplayed or wished away, and it’s time Myanmar’s government and the international community acknowledge strong evidence that genocide is being perpetrated against the Rohingya and act to end it, Katherine Southwick writes.

Violence in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State escalated after a 9 October attack on border guard posts, leaving nine officers dead. Humanitarian assistance and media access to the area have been cut off for weeks while the Myanmar authorities conduct a counterinsurgency operation against allegedly Rohingya assailants. Responsibility for the initial attack remains unclear, however. More than a hundred people are thought to have died already, with 30,000 internally displaced adding to the 160,000 people who have been subsisting in squalid displacement camps since previous outbreaks of violence in 2012 and 2013. Human Rights Watch has released satellite imagery showing that over 1,200 buildings in Rohingya villages have been razed in the past month. Government soldiers have reportedly gang-raped Rohingya women and girls.

Bangladesh, which for 30 years has permitted more than 230,000 registered and unregistered Rohingya refugees to shelter in its territory, has been turning people back who seek refuge across the border. Thousands have already crossed and continue to gather at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

These events mark a dramatic deterioration in what has long been a desperate situation for a minority that many have identified as among the most persecuted in the world. Most of them are stateless, with the government designating them as “Bengalis” or “illegal immigrants,” despite many having had citizenship in the past and having lived in the region for generations. They have been subjected to forced labour and confined to displacement camps where they do not receive adequate food and medical care, leaving pregnant women and children particularly at risk of agonising illness and death. Read more