Tuesday, February 8, 2011

NDPHR (exile), South East Asia Regional Office, Malaysia

Ref: 1990-2011/001
February 8, 2011


Allow United Nations High Commissioner (UNHCR) and International Agencies to determine the refugee status and to ensure the protection of Rohingya Arakanese Refugees

We, the following signatories are extremely concerned about the plight of the Rohingya Arakanese refugees from Burma’s Arakan State who recently landed in Thailand through out their perilous plight.

The Rohingya Arakanese are Muslim by their faith and thus they are victimized by the brutal military regime. So, they are recognized as one of the worst victims of human rights violations and largest stateless and refugee communities in the Southeast Asian nations. They are deprived of their basic rights to citizenship or permanent shelter not only in Burma but also in both South and Southeast Asian regions. These people have been taking shelters in different parts of the world, particularly in neighboring countries of Burma such Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand and etc.

Due to decades long political oppression, economic exploitation, social degradation and cultural salvation, the Burmese military rulers have turned the Rohingya Arakanese into a powerless, defenseless and voiceless crippled community. Today we feel so helpless that we do not know how to reach our voice on helplessness and hopelessness to the international community to raise their conscience.

Indeed, the UNHCR is the key agency that is responsible to look after the refugees and asylum seekers by getting registration and extending facilities for protection, medication, education and other basic needs. Hence, the agency has been promoting procedures for the betterment of refugees and asylum seekers to whom long lasting solution is desirable.

Meanwhile, countries where the Rohingya Arakanese refugees are hunted, are not safe for them as they are not party to UN conventions and protocol relating to refugees and stateless persons; and so that they deny to recognize refugees or political asylums but do not hesitate to exercise the activities that criminalize and jeopardize the refugees and asylum seekers as well.

At the same times, the region has come to target on Rohingya Arakanese for their religious belief (Islam) with a false conception of extremism as they are the most uneducated people who are in fear of exploitation in various ways.

We doubt that the opportunist groups may come forward for exploitation of Rohingya Arakanese in order to dispose them. These humiliations and misconceptions may lead the Rohingya Arakanese into uncertainty and that may be considered as big burden in human society while they are also seen as a threat to national security because of their irregular status.

It is true that they are forced to seek informal means of traveling and searching for safe lives which increases their vulnerabilities. Many have decomposed at their way from Bangladesh to Thailand and Malaysia as ‘boat people’ while their vessels capsized at sea. They are also under constant threat of arrests, detention, and deportation. Though their vulnerability is widely known to the world, no quarter has been found that redresses adequately in the region or in the world.

It is therefore appeal to the Royal Government of Thailand to allow access of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Refugees International (RI), International Rescue Committee (IRC), International Committee for Red Cross (ICRC), International Organization for Migration (IMO), European Union (EU), Govt. of USA, Britain, Australia and etc. who are very much keen to take over the burden of these recent boat people, to determine their refugee status and to ensure their international protection.

We also appeal to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its member states to stop all sorts of human rights violations and ill treatments on the Rohingya Arakanese refugees in order to settle their problems permanently, while recognizing their plight to meet with durable solution through adequate protection and assistances.

We also request the ASEAN to review its policies towards the Burmese military regime for the immediate democratization in Burma through meaningful national reconciliation process and tripartite dialogue among the military, pro-democracy groups and ethnic nationalities.

We appeal to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and international community, particularly the concerned organizations on Refugees, Stateless and Human Rights to continue their efforts to assist these vulnerable Rohingya Arakanese refugees in Thailand with in-depth sight into the miserable plights of them in their countries of refuge, particularly in Thailand with a view to ending the circle of perilous plight and to take necessary step for their protection and assistances before going underway to serious intimidation.

Thank you,

Endorsed by:
All Burma Democratic Force (ABDF), Malaysia
Arakan Rohingya Organization (JARO), Japan
Burmese Rohingya Association in United Arab Emirates (BRA-UAE)
Burmese Rohingya Democratic Alliance (BRDA)
Burmese Rohingya Refugee Community (BRRC), Malaysia
Democratic Federation of Burma (DFB), Malaysia
Ethnic Rohingya Committee of Arakan (ERCA), MalaysiA
Human Rights Association for Rohingya (HURAR), Malaysia
Myanmar Muslim Council (MMC), Saudi Arabia
National Council for Rohingya (NCR), Malaysia
National Democratic Party for Human Rights (NDPHR) exile, HQ, USA
Rohingya Information Center (RIC), Malaysia
Rohingya Arakanese Refugee Committee (RARC), Malaysia
Rohingya Arakanese Refugee Ulama Council (RAUC)
Rohingya Refugee Relief Agency (RRRA), Malaysia
Rohingya Youth Development Forum (RYDF), Arakan-Burma
Union of Rohingya Communities in Europe (URCE), Norway
World Rohingya Congress (WRC), USA
Individual Activists, Human Rights Defenders and general refugees; and others

For media contact:

Kyaw Soe Aung Tel: +14147364273
Mohammad Sadek Tel: +60 163094599

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