(07 April 2013)
Statement of ARNO on the news item appeared in Daily Independent, Dhaka, Bangladesh on 6 April 2013
Our attention has been drawn to the news item dated 6th April 2013 of the Daily Independent, Dhaka, Bangladesh under the caption, “180 Rohingyas arrested in Cox’s Bazar”.
We strongly reject the news which says, “Arakan Rohingya National Organization (ARNO) activists gave money to thousand Rohingyas on refugee camp of Teknaf and Ukhiya to participate in Hefazate Islam Bangladesh (HIB) long march.” This is a baseless allegation devoid of truth and evidence.
The news item further states, “Ukhiya police launched drives in Mariccha, Curt Bazar, Ukhiya Sadar, T&T area on Teknaf-Cox’s Bazar highway and arrested 180 Rohingyas who were going to participate in HIB long march.” All those 180 people who were arrested are Rohingya refugees. They were not going out of their makeshift camps to participate in any rally, but they went out looking for work as they are facing prevalent starvation.
Meanwhile, we strongly condemn Dhaka based Narinjara, a news group of Rakhine Buddhist in exile, for publishing the same concocted news in Burmese without verification with a view to tarnishing the image of the ARNO and the Rohingya Diaspora in Bangladesh.
We reiterate that we are committed to pursue a peaceful political settlement of our problem and crisis. We are committed to remain a community within Arakan and to having peaceful and beneficial relations with our neighbours. And ARNO has a strong policy of non-interference in the affairs of other countries and it firmly abides by its policy.
The international community is well aware that the Rohingyas, who are facing ethnic cleansing and genocide in Burma, merit international protection, in the absence of domestic security; and to this fact we invite the kind attention and consideration of the people and Government of Bangladesh. Meanwhile, we request the Bangladesh authorities to investigate the allegation and the arrest of 180 Rohingya refugees, who deserve sympathy and support on the basis of humanitarianism, in the interest of justice.
For more information, please contact:
Nurul Islam: + 44-7947854652