Friday, May 18, 2012
Representatives from the Rohingya Association Canada (RAC) had a meeting with their MP
Representatives from the Rohingya Association Canada (RAC) had a meeting with their MP, Mr. Harold Albrecht, from the Kitchener-Conestoga riding to discuss the issue of Rohingya’s plight.
A set of around 40 hand-written applications by the newly resettle refugees, 30+ signatures on an application letter from school teachers and local rights group supporting the cause of Rohingya were handed to the MP to submit to the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Minister of Immigration. These handwritten applications were produced at a “Write for Rohingya Rights” campaign run by the RAC. It was the 4th session in series and held a few weeks ago. Especial emphasis was given on the resettlement issue to bring more refugees from the Bangladesh camps and the boat people that has created a regional problem for South East Asia. Generally the participants in this writing campaign are local activists and social workers.
Following items were discussed with MP:
1) Root cause of Rohingya’s problems: racial and religious discrimination, 1982 arbitrary citizenship law that renders Rohingya stateless, restrictions on movement (including traveling from one village to another), religious practice, marriage, access to higher education, confiscation of land, forceful eviction and resettlement of non-Rohingya on confiscated land, forced labors, arbitrary taxation and summary execution.
2) Statement of racists parliamentarians and high ranking government officials: Flatly denying of Rohingya's existence in Burma and labeling them as illegal Bengali intruders by the Immigration Minister Khin Yi at the Burmese Parliament session. Chief Political adviser to the President U Ko Ko Hlaing's statement of legitimizing the restriction of movement, and the statement of Director General of Burma's Population U Myint Kyaing, who denied the existence of Rohingya in Burma.
3) Official and unofficial refugees lingering in the camps in Bangladesh for the last 20+ years.
Mr. Albrecht assured that in addition to submitting those applications, he would also discuss the matter at the parliament session and update the RAC as thing progress.
Anwar S Arkani