Sunday, February 26, 2012

Persecution of Rohingyas

Persecution of Rohingyas

According to Amnesty International, the Rohingya people have continued to suffer from human rights violations under the Myanmar junta since 1978, and many have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh as a result:
 "The Rohingyas' freedom of movement is severely restricted and the vast majority of them have effectively been denied Myanmar citizenship. They are also subjected to various forms of extortion and arbitrary taxation; land confiscation; forced eviction and house destruction; and financial restrictions on marriage. Rohingyas continue to be used as forced labourers on roads and at military camps, although the amount of forced labour in northern Rakhine (Arakan) State has decreased over the last decade."
"In 1978 over estimated number of 200,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh, following the 'Nagamin' ('Dragon King') operation of the Myanmar army. Officially this campaign aimed at "scrutinising each individual living in the state, designating citizens and foreigners in accordance with the law and taking actions against foreigners who have filtered into the country illegally". This military campaign directly targeted civilians, and resulted in widespread killings, rape and destruction."
"During 1991-92 a new wave of the estimated number of a quarter of a million Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh. They reported widespread forced labour, as well as summary executions, torture, and rape. Rohingyas were forced to work without pay by the Myanmar army on infrastructure and economic projects, often under harsh conditions. Many other human rights violations occurred in the context of forced labour of Rohingya civilians by the security forces."

Rohingyas or Bangladeshis?

The boatpeople pushed deep into the sea to drift by Thai authorities and reached the Andaman shores facing hardships and ordeals now face a major crisis - Burmese does not recognize Rohingyas/Arakanese as their citizens, and many of them living in Bangladesh does not possess any paper from Bangladesh government. Most of these state-less people were living in the border towns of Bangladesh. Two-third of us is from Cox Bazar in Bangladesh. 
Under Burmese law, the Rohingyas are de jure stateless, but they fare little better in Bangladesh. Most Rohingyas in Bangladesh have no legal rights and few employment opportunities. Hence, they try to move to Thailand and Malaysia.

"As we are landless, our families live in rented houses there," said Abdul Rehman, who had crossed from Myanmar and living with his family in Cox Bazar. "We would like to go back to our families in Bangladesh," he said.

Source: The Light of Andamans

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