Burma Partnership, Strengthening Cooperation for a Free Burma
Signup Now!
Join our mailing list for latest news and information about Burma.

Burma: Continued Violence in Rakhine and Persecution of Rohingyas Strongly Condemned

By Forum-Asia  •  November 23, 2012

FORUM-ASIA urges Burma government and international community to take immediate and concrete steps to end gross human rights violations and humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), a Bangkok-based regional human rights organisation, comprising 47 member organisations from 16 countries across Asia, condemned the ongoing ethnic violence targeting the Rohingya people in Rakhine State, Burma, since June 2012, which has resulted in about 200 deaths, created thousands of internally-displaced persons (IDPs), and has led to a severe humanitarian crisis.

FORUM-ASIA strongly urged the government of Burma to immediately put an end to the violence and to allow humanitarian agencies access to the area. The regional human rights NGO also called on the government of Burma to repeal the 1982 Citizenship Law which has rendered the Rohingyas stateless.

FORUM-ASIA’s member organisations who attended the regional NGO’s 7th General Assembly, held on 20-21 November 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand, made this call following discussions on the issue during its meeting.

FORUM-ASIA condemns the continued ethnic violence in Rakhine State, in particular the persecution of Rohingyas. We condemn the government of Burma for its failure to prevent the escalation of repeated violence and gross human rights violations in Rakhine State, which have seen two major waves of mass violence since June this year.

We also urgently raise our deepest concerns over the dire situation faced by the thousands of Rohingyas who have attempted to flee the violence by crossing the border into neighbouring Bangladesh. We deplore the government of Bangladesh’s persistence to push-back the Rohingyas who are fleeing the violence. The government of Bangladesh should immediately stop this practice, and instead provide refuge and sufficient medical aid, food and water to the persecuted Rohingyas who are attempting to flee across the border from Rakhine State.

We urgently call upon the United Nations (UN), the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states to engage more effectively with the government of Burma in the pursuit of a genuine resolution to the crisis. We further call on the international community to urgently provide humanitarian assistance to the victims of this ongoing crisis. In addition, we call for the deployment of independent observers to Rakhine State in order to monitor the situation upon cessation of violence.

While President Thein Sein has recently stated that the government of Burma will “address contentious political dimensions, ranging from resettlement of displaced populations to granting of citizenship” and ensure that “issues of birth registration, work permits, and permits for movement across the country for all” are in line with “accepted international norms”, we urge the President of Burma to strengthen this apparent commitment by undertaking concrete actions with a clear timeframe to resolve the tensions. In particular, we strongly urge the government of Burma to immediately repeal the 1982 Citizenship Law which has rendered the Rohingyas stateless and does not recognize them as a legitimate ethnic group of Burma.

In this regard, we strongly reiterate the human rights community’s consistent calls on the government of Burma to commit to a sustainable reconciliation process that require minimally the repeal of all repressive and discriminatory laws and practices that have been used to persecute people from the different communities in Burma, as well as a genuine and inclusive dialogue with all political parties and ethnic nationality groups. The democratic reforms undertaken by the government of Burma will remain hollow if these minimum requirements are not met immediately.

For inquiries, please contact:

  • Sayeed Ahmad, Country Programme Manager, FORUM-ASIA, sayeed@forum-asia.org; +66842176150
  • John Liu, East Asia Programme Officer, FORUM-ASIA, johnliu@forum-asia.org; +66802828610
Tags: , , , ,

This post is in: Press Release

Related Posts
U.S.: Lifting Sanctions on Myanmar Puts Human Rights Progress At Risk
Advisory Commission on Rakhine State – A Welcome Investigation into Arakan State’s Human Rights and Humanitarian Crisis
NLD Government Must Lift All Aid Restrictions in Arakan State
United States Commission on International Religious Freedom – Burma: 2016 Annual Report
(၂၉) ႏွစ္ေျမာက္ စစ္ေတြဆန္ျပႆနာေန႔ ဝမ္းနည္းေအာက္ေမ့ဖြယ္ အထိမ္းအမွတ္ သေဘာထားထုတ္ျပန္ခ်က္