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    Swedish Parliament Held Hearing on Rohingya Crisis

    By Burma Times

    May 09, 2014

    Swedish Parliament holds a hearing in the parliament on 8th May afternoon. The hearing was hosted by Mehmet Kaplan from the Green Party .The hearing was organised by Swedish Burma committee, civil rights defender, Swedish Rohingya Association, Olof Palme International Centre and Swedish Muslim for Peace and Justice. More than 60  people attended at the hearing including Member Parliament Roger Hadad, from The Liberal Party, members from NGOs, Journalists and Medias from Sweden  and Burmese  refugee from Stockholm.

    The speakers are Abul Kalam, (Head of Swedish Rohingya Association) , Ms Brittis Edman,( Programme Director of Civil Rights Defenders)  , Tun Khin, (President of Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK) , Ms Shantana –(Swedish Burma Committee ) and Ms Zin Mar Aung (Rangoon based democracy activist).

    Abul Kalam pinpointed about the census and how it was heavily criticized, which was supported by Swedish government. The support from Swedish government Census created more anti-Rohingya campaigns. As for Rohingya not allowed to register as ‘Rohingya’ pressured and threatened Rohingyas to register as ‘Bengali’. Those who refused to write Bengali the authorities punished them in many areas, where the media was absent. Swedish government should withdraw support on Burmese government
    Ms Brittis Edman highlighted current Health aid crisis and recommended the following to the Swedish Government
    • Without the state acting to end the hate speech, violence, state sponsored discrimination, and blockage of humanitarian assistance, the situation will go from very bad to grim. And it risks derailing the much-lauded transition that Myanmar has embarked upon. This process is volatile and vulnerable.
    • The government must also expresses that the aim is for the displaced people to be able to return home voluntarily, in safety and with dignity, and following genuine consultations.
    • The international community, including Sweden, must protect human rights for all people of Myanmar in its engagement with Myanmar, and in its benchmarks to measure progress.

    Tun Khin addressed EU government’s lack of action and urgently things need to be done to put effective Pressure on Burmese Government with timeline and benchmarks. He pointed out that Lifting up sanctions is encouraging to President Thein Sein Government to kill more Rohingyas. If violations against us are to end, it needs intervention from the international community; it won’t come from within Burma. International community have to remember that Legal experts, academics, and NGOs working on Burma identified key elements of genocide which are taking place in Arakan against Rohingya.

    Tun Khin Recommended Swedish Government to put Effective Pressure on President Thein Sein Government;
    • To allow aid NGOs in ArakanState
    • To support on international independent investigation in Arakan.
    • To amend 1982 citizenship Law in Burma
    • To provide capacity building and leadership training Rohingya Youth in Exile.
    • To resettle Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia in Sweden.
    Shantana from Norwegian Burma Committee showed a short clip of Rohingyas situation in Arakan including IDP camps.
    Zin Mar Aung Mentioned that there is no genuine change in Burma and the changes are not constitutional change. The military backed Thein Sein government is behind on anti-Muslim violence and others. She said all the people in Burma living side by side for decades. The government is playing a role to keep their power. International community have to put much pressure the genuine peace in Burma.

    Member Parliament Roger Hadad,Mohamed Ibrahim