URGENT PRESS STATEMENT
29 September 2014
Dear Chief Editors,
Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM) is deeply concerned on the Myanmar government’s plan to grant citizenship to the ethnic minority Rohingya as it clearly contradicts with the International law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The plan by the Myanmar government clearly shows that the government continuously wants to eliminate Rohingya from Myanmar. This is part of their ethnic cleansing policy towards ethnic Rohingya. This is clearly GENOCIDE against ethnic minority Rohingya.
In the recent months the Myanmar government has banned the term Rohingya. The term Rohingya cannot be used anymore in Myanmar. The act of the Myanmar government draws lots of criticism from the human rights group and the International community.
As a result some United Nations agencies working in Myanmar have avoided the word Rohingya because it angers officials and nationalist religious leaders in Rakhine State, who can block them from carrying out humanitarian work.
In another incident in June, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had been asked by state officials to apologize for saying “Rohingya” during a presentation outlining development plans. This clearly shows how much the Myanmar government wants to eliminate ethnic minority Rohingya from Myanmar.
The current situation is very critical as the government is forcing the Rohingya to accept the citizenship and change their identity to Bengali. The Rakhine Chief Minister already warned the people in Rakhine State that no one can oppose the government plan to grant citizenship to Rohingya as they want this process to run smoothly.
What is certain the Rohingya will not accept the plan unless the Myanmar government recognizes the minority Rohingya as citizen in a lawful way. If we accept this plan, there will be no longer Rohingya in this world. In future we will be sent to Bangladesh which is not our homeland.
The rejection of Rohingya to this plan will definitely put Rohingya at risk of indefinite detention, rape, torture or being killed by this cruel government as what had happened before.
According to the sources, the plan proposes Arakan authorities “construct temporary camps in required numbers for those who refuse to be registered and those without adequate documents”. This is very worrying as the government already has the concrete plan to swipe out the Rohingyas. Once in detention we do not know what will be their fate. At the moment thousands of Rohingya do not have documents as it was destroyed during the conflict in 2012.
MERHROM received the latest information from Kelah Daung Village stated that 12 educated Rohingya were arrested and severely beaten. Two of them were seriously injured. Two of the Islamic leaders had their beard cut forcefully. The rest we do not have any information where they are taken to and what are their fate.
On 20 September, in Maungdaw the police arrested 10 villagers who were refused the census processing because of writing Bengali instead of Rohingya in the Form.
On 21 September in Magway Division, Maggo U Town, a mosque, a Rohingya shop and a Rohingya house has been burnt down by the Buddhist. According to the villagers, the government is behind it. To date there is no action taken by the government and the police do not conduct any investigation.
The plan raises four crucial questions:-
What exactly the content of the plan? The Myanmar government must be transparent in this matter. The plan must be table to the public in order to guarantee the rights of ethnic minority Rohingya in our own homeland.
In the government plan, a Bengali with a citizenship card still won’t be able to walk into a Rakhine [Arakanese] village,” said Tha Pwint, who also serves on the committee that oversees humanitarian affairs in Arakan. What is the value of the citizenship if we are still treated as illegal and under strict scrutiny by the Myanmar government.
The plan says one of its aims is to promote peaceful co-existence and prevent sectarian tension and conflict. How could this aim can be achieved as the conflict between the two group is inflicted by the Myanmar government itself as part of their ethnic cleansing policy against ethnic minority Rohingya?
The government state that 40 Rohingya were granted citizenship. We do not know if the information is genuine or not? We believe this is not Rohingya as we will not change our identity for the uncertain citizenship promised by the government. This is a bad plan by the government to eliminate the Rohingya from the world history.
The current plan of the Myanmar government will lead to another humanitarian crisis in the Arakan State and in the region. Again minority Rohingya will be the target. The United Nations, the World Leaders, OIC, ASEAN and the International communities must intervene without delay to avoid future loss of lives.
All parties must open their eyes against these never ended prosecutions on the ethnic minority Rohingya. Currently all World Leaders are gathered at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. We urge the United Nations and the World Leaders to address the Rohingya plight and Intervene with the Myanmar government to stop the GENOCIDE and recognize Rohingya as citizen as before.
We hope for the continuous support of the MEDIA and JOURNALIST to highlight our issues until there is peace in our state and we are Recognize as Citizen of Burma.
Zafar Ahmad Bin Abdul Ghani
Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM)
Tel No: +6016-6827287