14825630 239870283094807 451557275 nFebruary 18, 2017

While welcoming the end of clearance operations in Maungdaw North, the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) stressed that an independent inquiry is still needed to investigate alleged atrocities in the context of its operations, according to a statement issued on the group’s website on Saturday.

“Declaring an end to the crackdown does not absolve the Myanmar government of its responsibility to protect its people and ensure that they are not subjected to abuse. We’re talking about possible crimes against humanity here. This is not business as usual in ASEAN,” said APHR Chairperson Charles Santiago, a member of the Malaysian Parliament.

“The regional and international pressure that led to this outcome must be sustained,” Santiago said. The parliamentarian alleged the could not be trusted to carry out a fair investigation into the gross human rights violations of the minority community. “Our job is not done. We must ensure that there is no impunity for rights violations. This task demands a credible, independent investigation—one which Myanmar authorities have thus far demonstrated they are unwilling or unable to carry out,” he said.

Earlier, an UN report saying the government had carried out mass atrocities against defenceless populations was flatly denied by the Myanmar regime. Santiago said, “The UN’s exhaustive first-hand reporting further corroborates the claims human rights organisations and independent media have been making for months: possible ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. The Myanmar government’s repeated denials of rights violations demonstrate that Naypyitaw has no interest in resolving the situation or addressing underlying issues. The fact that security forces have been tasked with investigating themselves and rooting out abusers in their own ranks speaks for itself." He further states the government is not even doing a good job pretending it is serious in the investigation. 


February 17, 2017

Bangladesh will raise the Rohingya issue with Germany during an upcoming meet in Munich, the Bangladesh Foreign Minister told reporters during a press conference in the country’s capital on Wednesday.

"We've already talked to the European Commission on the Rohingya issue. And of course, the issue will be discussed at a meeting with Dr Angela Merkel," said Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali.

Bangladesh Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to meet her German counterpart Chancellor Angela Merkel in Munich on Saturday during the Munich Security Conference.

Mahmood Ali also said that international opinion was in favour of Bangladesh and the Rohingyas, and commended international determination to put pressure on Myanmar.

"We think we're on the right track over Rohingya issue because the world has realised how much sufferings the Rohingya people have been going through," he said.

Bangladesh government has long tried to be friendly towards the Burmese regime and pledged utmost support to their neighbour as Myanmar commenced brutal military operations against the minority Muslim community in October. By contrast, Myanmar completely rejected Bangladeshi overtures of assistance and instead assumed an aggressive stance on the border. The Bangladesh government's current stance is however difficult to fathom.

Ali also spoke about the possibilities of relocating the Rohingyas to Haitya on a temporary basis before conditions would be suitable for them to return to their homeland.

February 13, 2017

The Malaysian aid ship carrying aid for Rohingyas have reached Bangladeshi waters where it has been warmly received by theBangladesh navy. The circumstances are in marked contrast to the chilly reception awarded by the government of Myanmar amid reports of anti Muslim protest in Yangon.
Earlier there were reports in that the Malaysian ship would,dock in the port city of Chittagong instead of Teknaf where the Rohingyas are based. However the ship looks like it is unloading near Cox's Bazar which is very close to the refugee populace concentrated in the Teknaf region.
Bangladesh navy has also said they would extend full cooperation to the Malaysian mission and even more if they are asked, according to reports in the local media.
Bangladesh and Malaysia are known to enjoy strong bilateral relations. On the other hand while the neighbouring country has let in tens of thousands of refugees since last year, there have often been criticisms of Bangladesh's handling of the refugee crisis.
Recently there has been an upsurge of support from Bangladesh on the Rohingya issue but opinion remains sharply divided on the issue of granting them refuge. Many in Bangladesh say despite their best intentions it is impossible to accommodate new arrivals from the neighbouring country with the limited resources of an underdeveloped nation.kutupalong

February 11, 2017

Indonesia has urged Myanmar to take significant steps in solving the Rohingya crisis. The world’s largest Muslim nation joined a chorus of concerns on Friday and urged a solution to the crisis before the situation spins out of control leading to instability across the wider region.

"I would like to once again reiterate the importance for the government of Myanmar to take significant steps to create an enabling environment for peace and reconciliation to take place," foreign minister Retno Marsudi told the AFP on a visit to Singapore.

"Indonesia shares the concern of the international community on the humanitarian and security situation in Rakhine state."

AFP also said that the Rohingya plight has mobilised the anger of the Muslim masses throughout the world.

Incidentally, one member of a Myanmar team invited by Indonesia to study how that country reached peace between warring Christian and Muslim communities was killed as he returned from the Jakarta trip on January 29. Ko Ni, a leading Muslim lawyer and a rare sympathiser of the Rohingya community was gunned down as he hugged his grandchild outside the airport as he returned from the Indonesian capital. The killing has led to further suspicions that powerful quarters within the country stand to lose out in any peace rapprochement between Muslims and Buddhists.

Meanwhile the ASEAN’s other Muslim member Malaysia has put unprecedented pressure on Myanmar to cease atrocities against the Rohingya community.


February 9, 2017

The government is in an advanced negotiation stage with their Pakistani counterparts to build the JF-17 fighter jet, according to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly.

The defence weekly magazine said the agreement would allow Myanmar to significantly expand its defence sector.

Reports of the deal have angered Muslim majority Pakistan that has strong sympathies for the Rohingya community.

However it is not unprecedented that while the Pakistan government expresses vocal sympathy for the Rohingyas on one hand, they negotiate lucrative deals with the Tatmadaw carrying out atrocities against the Rohingyas. In mid 2015, Pakistan raised the Rohingya issue at the UN while conducting parallel negotiations with the regime amid the boat people crisis that saw thousands of Rohingyas stranded in the high seas.

Earlier in June 2016, the Kachin National Organisation urged Pakistan to stop jet sales to Myanmar as air strikes from Pakistani fighters caused mass civilian casualties in that area.

February 3, 2017

Malaysia has sent off an aid flotilla to aid beleaguered Rohingyas in Arakan state. Prime Minister of Malaysia Nakib Razzaq set off the ship carrying tonnes of food and other essential goods on Friday.

The Malaysian government led by Razzaq has shown unprecedented support for the Rohingyas as a draconian crackdown killed hundreds in the restive region. Popular support for the Rohingyas have peaked among the Muslim majority countries of South East Asia.

The move has however been rebuked by the government of Myanmar which continues to deny atrocities and calls the Muslim problem of Arakan their internal matter.

The flotilla is being organised by the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organisations and a coalition of NGOs from the region.

The aid shipment is however destined for Yangon from where it is unclear how the aid will reach the Rohingyas. Myanmar’s authorities have earlier diverged aid meant for Muslims to the Buddhist populace or have simply siphoned foreign aid for their personal use.

The ship is later destined for Teknaf in Banglades, home to hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees.

Some organisers however expressed hope they will reach Akyab but at the moment this seems unlikely.

Rohingya organisations however hailed the move as a strong show of political support from Muslim majority Malaysia. A show of support from Malaysia has marked a radical breakaway from the ASEAN’s long standing policy of not interfering with member state’s internal matters. un 1

Senior Correspondent,  bdnews24.com

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali has stressed “voluntary repatriation” of Myanmar refugees back to their homes in the Rakhine State.

This is the “durable solution” to the protracted refugee situation in Bangladesh, he told the newly appointed Country Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Shinji Kubo.

Read more ...

Anti Rohingya.transformed

February 9, 2017

Hundreds of anti Muslim protesters greeted the Malaysian aid ship as it docked at the Yangon port on Thursday, according to the AFP.

Protesters who were prepared with placards ‘No Rohingya’ were present at the Thilawa port even before the ship managed to reach the destination.

Buddhist nationalists and much of the population in the country allege the Rohingyas are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and have lent wide support to the brutal crackdown led by the Tatmadaw that has killed more than a thousand men, women and children in Maungdaw.

In a break from conventional ASEAN policy, Malaysia has strongly criticised Myanmar’s crackdown and led unprecedented support for the beleaguered Muslim community in Arakan. A network of Malaysian NGOs have sent an aid ship carrying tonnes of aid supplies meant for the Rohingyas, an initiative strongly supported by Malaysian PM Najib Razzaq.

The Nautical Aliya set off from Malaysia last week carrying 2,200 tonnes of rice, medical aid and clothing along with hundreds of health workers and activists. Myanmar has refused permission for the ship to dock in Akyab but after initial hesitation has allowed the use of Yangon.

Rohingya activists have said while aid unloaded in Yangon has little likelihood of reaching the restive Maungdaw township, the symbolic gesture of Malaysia is a great support for the minority community which has remained isolated for a long time.

The European Union praised Aung San Suu Kyi’s progress on human rights in the country and has declared it would not be introducing a resolution of condemnation in the United Nations.

This is the first time in 15 years, the EU, generally a staunch critic of the country’s dismal human rights situation, will not be condemning the country at the UN. The news coming soon after the US declaration to lift sanctions is another feather in the cap for Suu Kyi, who is leading the diplomatic initiative.

Addressing the Partnership Group on Myanmar at the United Nations General Assembly, EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini called Suu Kyi's progress from political prisoner to government "powerful testimony to the incredible change Myanmar is going through."

Reuters quoted Mogherini as saying that steps had also "been taken against those who incite hatred" and a commission established under former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to address violence between majority Buddhists and Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar's state of Rakhine.

The EU delegate also told Suu Kyi, "I know that you are working hard to find a sustainable solution for both communities."

The decision is another blow for the beleaguered Rohingya community that has relied almost solely on international pressure to stave off ethnic cleansing in Arakan state.ue flag 1920x1080 wallpapers 612x336

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