Press Release: The statement of ARNO on the current situation in Arakan/Rakhine State, Burma
(29 March 2014)
- Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO) has strongly condemned the attacks on international humanitarian aid workers by militant Rakhine mobs in Sittwe on March 26- 27, causing damages to their offices, residences, vehicles and properties under the pretext of disrespecting a Buddhist flag by a female staff of the Malteser International.
- Since June 2012 series of genocidal onslaughts have been carried out by the extremist Buddhist Rakhines in collusion with security forces resulting in massive destruction of Muslims’ lives, settlements, homes, and properties and their exoduses into Bangladesh and other countries creating refugee and boat people problem while posing threat to international peace and security.
- During recent years, international humanitarian organizations working in Arakan have been under pressure from Rakhine extremist groups for providing humanitarian assistance -- healthcare, food and sanitation care and other succour--to the Rohingyas living in squalid displacement camps and villages, in apartheid like situation.
- Last month, the government had expelled from Arakan the Nobel Peace Prize winning aid group, Doctors without Borders (MSF) for revealing the truth that in January its staff had treated 15 victims with gunshots and slash wounds sustained in the carnage of Du Chee Yar Tan village in Arakan State’s Maungdaw Township, where the security forces and organized Buddhist gangs had massacred unknown number of Rohngya villagers, most of them women and children.
- The government denial of this proven killings and subsequent expulsion of MSF from Arakan has encouraged the lawless bands to commit more atrocity crimes and destruction not only to the helpless Rohingya people but also to the INGOs, NGOs and aid workers with full impunity.
- Now the whole Rohingya people, who have no access to government services, are in great danger in the absence of MSF and other INGOs, including World Food Program, UNHCR, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the International Committee for Red Cross, Malteser International. The Rakhine Buddhist extremists, with the blessing of militant monks led by U Wirathu, are determined to expel all humanitarian organizations helping the ‘dying alive’ Rohingya people, as a part of their “Rohingya extermination design”.
- In addition to causing serious physical injuries and mental harm to the Rohingya, these conniving activities also aim at deliberately inflicting upon them adverse living conditions so that their physical destruction is threatened. It is also a part of the anti-Rohingya campaign to exclude the ethnic “Rohingya” from the nationwide census starting tomorrow with intent to deny them of their right to nationality.
- Burmese government is supporting all these criminal activities behind the scene as a tactic; and in response to the demand of the Buddhist Rakhine and their accomplices, it has today (29/3/2014) announced that Muslims would not be allowed to register as “Rohingya" in its first census in three decades despite UN assurances. This will put the entire Rohingya population and those trying to help them at great risk.
- Under the circumstance the donors should suspend the census until congenial atmosphere and just condition is created; Burmese government must ensure security and safety of the relief workers to resume safe humanitarian operations in Arakan; and it must fully protect the security of life, property, dignity and honour of the Rohingya people, at the same time guaranteeing all their human rights and freedoms as an ethnic nationality of the Burma Union.
For more information, please contact:
Nurul Islam: + 44-7947854652
Habibur Rahman: +880187012919
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