Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Asean urged to address Rohingya
The Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) says the Myanmar government's policy of segregation in Rakhine state is the main factor in the mass migration of the Rohingya people - and admits it is also at fault for its own failure to act in the past.
Kraisak Choonhavan, vice president of AIPMC and chair of the Thailand Caucus, said many Rohingya people fleeing Myanmar in hope of better life are likely to instead face detention or discrimination in other countries.
Mr Kraisak blamed Asean for not doing enough to address the root cause of the problem, in a statement issued on Tuesday.
He said Asean should put pressure on the Myanmar government to do more to safely integrate the Rohingya population and ensure them their basic rights.
At the same time, Asean must work closely with regional law enforcement authorities and human rights agencies to combat trafficking of Rohingya refugees, he advised.
Recent evidence indicated that some Thai officials were involved in the trafficking operation, the press statement said.
AIPMC president Eva Kusuma Sundari, who is an Indonesian MP, criticised Asean for failing to offer human rights protection to the Rohingya. The Myanmar government's policy had isolated Rohingya people in slums or camps with virtually no access to work, education or medical attention, she said.
She plans to bring the issue up at the Asean Intergovernmental Commission of Human Rights forum scheduled from Jan 28 to Feb 2 in Brunei.