Congress president Sonia Gandhi applauds after chairperson of the
National League for Democracy of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, delevered
Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photo:
Joint appeal of Indian Muslim organisations on the occasion of the visit of the Myanmarese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi
New Delhi, 14 November 2012: Myanmar opposition leader Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi is visiting our country and getting the treatment of a head of state as a result of her long struggle and suffering for democracy in Myanmar which also won her a Nobel Peace Prize. But we are pained to see that Ms. Kyi has disappointed many by her continuous silence and ambivalent attitude towards a section of her compatriots known as “Rohingyas” who mainly live in Rekhine province, formerly known as Akyab. The Rohingyas, who are Muslims, have been termed by a UN report as the most persecuted religions community in the world.
Under a highly questionable law passed in 1982 by the Burmese military government, they were summarily deprived of their nationality unless they prove that their forefathers were living in Burma back in 1832, which is a most oppressive law found anywhere in the world. Since last June, they are being attacked, their villages burnt and they are forced to live in refugee camps in their own country or flee to Bangladesh which already has a large number of Rohingyas who fled earlier during the past few decades due to acute persecution and oppression. As a result of this exodus, now there are large groups of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia. This is a matter of shame for Myanmar in general and the for the Nobel laureate crusader for democracy in particular.
We demand Ms. Kyi to come out of her cocoon and take a stand on the Rohingya issue. Ms. Kyi’s fight for democracy will remain incomplete as long as such a large number of persecuted people live within her own country. If Ms. Kyi continues to neglect the plight of the Rohingyas, we will be compelled to draw the conclusion that her fight for democracy is fake and that she is only concerned about the superiority and control of certain groups in Myanmar.
We also appeal to all Indian leaders who will meet Ms. Kyi during this visit to raise this issue with her and to apprise her about the Indian sentiments and the need to do justice to the persecuted Rohingyas.
Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat
Mujtaba Farooq, Convenor, Coordination Committee of Indian Muslims
Muhammad Ahmad, Political Secretary, Jamaat-e Islami Hind
Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji, President, Islahi Movement of India
Dr Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, Member, Working Committee, Muslim Personal Law Board
Dr Taslim Rahmani, President, Muslim Political Council of India
Prof. M.H. Jawahirullah, Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhgham (TMMK)
Lateef Mohd. Khan, Gen Secretary, Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, Hyderabad