Saturday, November 10, 2012
A Joint Statement of undersigned 12 Rohingya Organizations
(Date: November 10, 2012)
“Immigration Check to the Muslims of Arakan by the Burmese Government”
We, the undersigned following Rohingya organizations are deeply concerned about the current inhuman treatment and behaviors of the Burmese Immigration Department of Arakan ruling political party (RNDP) by the order and direction of President Thein Sein to check the immigration status of the Muslims of Arakan known as Rohingyas with the pretext of Data collection and immigration status under the Burma’s 1982 discriminatory citizenship law (Black Law) to grant citizenship sorting out the illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh. The Data collection and checking immigration status launched since November 06, 2012 starting from the Muslim Rohingya villages of Pauktaw Township, Arakan State.
President Thein Sein led Burmese Government and its collaborator Rakhine ruling political party (RNDP) doing it as if nothing happen to the Muslim Rohingya population of Arakan whereas a violent storm of ethnic cleansing was carried out very recently in which uncountable death and destruction of lives and properties, burning of villages and houses, looting and even robbing of the minor household items including kitchen knife, foods, paddy, and rice stock for the whole year ultimately compelling them to escape with the only clothes on their bodies to save their life from the onslaught of Buddhist Rakhine extremists.
It is completely unjustifiable and ridiculous to check immigration status of the Muslim Rohingya population of Pauktaw Township and Sittwe (Akyab) without taking care of their immediate needs of foods, shelter and health providing them a sense of mental peace.
In fact, this is a well calculated conspiracy and another form of mental torture and psychological warfare against the Muslim Rohingya people to demoralize and keep them in constant fear of uncertain future and also to make them Bengali intruders in their ancestral homeland-Arakan.
It is out of commonsense that how the Rohingya people will prove their nationality status under 1982 discriminatory citizenship law which demands evidence, document and proof of their living in the territory of Burma before 1823 whereas all their available nationality papers such as Family List, ID Cards, and Census papers were burnt into aches, moreover, most of the documents were already taken away and seized by the Burmese Immigration Department, Government officials and its Security forces during the numerous operations on Muslim Rohingyas in the past.
It is also known to the world that the Burma’s 1982 discriminatory citizenship law, which was enacted during the reign of former dictator Gen. Ne Win is against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and international treaties. The 1982 citizenship law also violates the Burma Union Citizenship Act, 1948 at the time Burma won independence which said “Any person descended from ancestors who for two generations at least have all made any of the territories included within the Union their permanent home and whose parents and himself were born in any of such territories shall be deemed to be a citizen of the Union”. The President Thein Sein himself confess in his interview with VOA that it is very rare and there was no any illegal entry of foreigners from neighboring country Bangladesh (East Pakistan) after 1948 Burma independence.
In this context, we are very much concerned and strongly denounce the ongoing inhuman treatment and mental torture to the Muslim Rohingya population such as intimidation, harassment, forcing to confess as Bengali race, threatening and unnecessarily checking immigration status at this inappropriate and critical time.
So, we strongly demand the Burmese Government and its collaborator Arakan ruling political party (RNDP) to stop immediately the ongoing nationality verification and psychological warfare against the Muslim Rohingya population in Pauktaw Township and other Muslim villages in Arakan who have been living there from generation to generation since 8th century A.D. Muslim Rohingyas are Burmese citizens and they have the same rights and privileges as other citizens of Burma regardless of their ethnic beliefs or ethnic background. From the date of May 15, 1961 to October 30, 1965, a program was broadcasted in the Rohingya language, twice a week from the Burmese Broadcasting Services (BBS) under the program of “Indigenous Groups”. (See: Page (71)” Voice of Myanmar in 30 years” written by U Kyaw Nyein, the Director of Ministry of Information, Burma), but later stopped. The Rangoon University Rohingya Students Association was one of the ethnic student associations that functioned from 1959 to 1961 under the registration numbers 113/99 December, 1959 and 7/60 September, 1960 respectively. And also, the first President of Burma Sao Shwe Theik stated that Muslims of Arakan certainly belong to one of the indigenous races of Burma. In fact, there is no pure indigenous race in Burma, if they do not belong to indigenous races of Burma, we also cannot be taken as indigenous races of Burma.
Under Article 3 of the Nu-Attlee Treaty of 17 October 1947, and under Section 11(i) (ii) (iii) the Constitution of the Union of Burma 1947, effected January 4, 1948, the Rohingyas of Arakan-Burma are bona fide citizens of Burma.
We also demand the Burmese Government to provide foods, shelter, accommodation and immediate rehabilitation with appropriate compensation to the Rohingyas and other Muslims of Arakan in their original places instead of checking immigration status as they have passed over previous more than 20 such kinds of operations as well as to restore the Rohingyas citizenship rights repealing the Burma’s 1982 discriminatory citizenship law (Black Law).
This Statement is jointly endorsed by the following Rohingya Organizations:-
1- Rohingya Concern International (RCI), USA
2- Burmese Rohingya American Friendship Association (BRAFA), USA
3- World Rohingya Congress (WRC), USA
4- Rohingya Arakanese Refugee Committee (RARC), Malaysia
5- Arakan Rohingya Organization-Japan (JARO)
6- Burmese Rohingya Association in Queensland-Australia, Inc. (BRAQA)
7- Rohingya Muslim Organization (RMO), Bangladesh
8- Rohingya Youth Development Forum (RYDF) Arakan-Burma
9- Arakan Rohingya Ulama Council (ARUC), Malaysia
10- Ethnic Rohingya Committee of Arakan (ERCA), Malaysia
11- Human Rights Association for Rohingyas (HURAR), Malaysia
12- Myanmar Muslim Council (MMC), Saudi Arabia
For further information and contact persons:-
1- Mohamed Sadek (Tel: +6016 309 4599-Malaysia)
2- Shaukhat @ MSK Jilani (Tel: +414 736 4273-USA)
3- Hussain Juhar (Tel: +61 409970073-Australia)
- United Nations Secretary General office
- UN Human Rights Council (Geneva-Switzerland)
- ASEAN Secretary General office (Jakarta, Indonesia)
- The US State Department
- US Senate Foreign Relation Committee
- Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Head Office
- Human Rights Watch (New York-USA)
- Amnesty International (New York-USA)
- Delegation of the European Union (EU) Office to USA
- Wisconsin Senators’ office
- Burma Task Force-USA
- Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
- Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
- Embassy of the United States (Rangoon, Burma)