24 October 2016
The Queensland Rohingya Community calls upon the Australian Government to intervene to stop the latest surge in violence in the western region of Myanmar against the resident Rohingya minority.
Queensland Rohingya Community leader, Mr Noor Zaman, says that community members are distressed by recent overseas reports from family members of widespread burning, organised rapes and mass killings in Maungdaw and surrounding villages in Rakhine State, Myanmar.
The reported atrocities, which are alleged to have begun on 9 October and are ongoing, are the worst in the region since 2012.
Mr Zaman said that the reported military crackdown is in response to the recent appointment of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as the Chair of an independent inquiry into human rights abuses in the region.
Acknowledging the role that community tension has played in past outbreaks of violence, Mr Zaman says this time, the attacks must be recognised as organised ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Myanmar Border Guard, Police and Army. There are fears that the atrocities are intended to further aggravate tensions and escalate violence in the region.
Over 225 casualties have been reported in and around Maungdaw villages in the past fortnight, with over 300 people injured and thousands more displaced. This wave of violence is the most recent in a history of mass killings, arbitrary arrests, theft and disappearances against Rohingya people in the Rakhine State.
The Rohingya Community has organised a rally and march commencing at Parliament House in Canberra at 9am on 9th November 2016. Former Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, The Honourable Wayne Swan MP will be among the guest speakers. We are calling upon the Australian Government, the United Nations and the European Union to take urgent action to investigate these new reports of atrocities in Rakhine State, and to stop the human rights abuses of Rohingya people in Myanmar. We want justice for our people.
Queensland Rohingya Community Leader
Phone: 0423 851 261