US urges Myanmar to create conditions for sustainable return of Rohingyas

It announced $60m in humanitarian aid at the launch of 2019 UN Joint Response Plan for Bangladesh  The United States has called on Myanmar to create the conditions that would allow for voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable returns of Rohingyas to their...

UN, partners appeal for USD 920 million to meet dire needs of 900,000 Rohingyas

Despite these and other achievements, the Rohingyas remain in an extremely precarious situation. UNHCR underscored that until the root causes of displacement in Myanmar are addressed and refugees can voluntarily return in safety, Bangladesh must be supported to meet...

The Myth of ‘Bengali Migration’ to Arakan Debunked

By Dr. Habib Siddiqui Abstract Genocidal crimes don’t happen in vacuum and require groundwork from the racist and bigoted elements to state and non-state actors to prepare the support base and mobilize the dominant group to perpetrate such heinous crimes. For decades,...

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Press Release: ARNO Condemns Derogatory And Racist Remarks Of Minister Thura U Aung Ko

Press release 10, December 2018

In a funeral of Buddhist monk on 27th November, Myanmar Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture Thura U Aung Ko had desecrated Islam labelling it extremist religion and insulted the Muslims accusing them of marrying 3-4 wives, at a time, and producing 15-20 children. He senselessly said the Buddhists will become a minority in Myanmar within 30 to 50 years.  

On December 4, when asked by reporters in a conference in Nay Pyi Taw to clarify what his remarks on Islam and Muslims meant, U Aung Ko said, 

“The other major religion I have specifically meant is the religion of Bengalis who have fled from Northern Rakhine State, not the country’s Muslims. In refugee camps, Bengali youths are indoctrinated to march to Rakhine State and Myanmar. The future design of the Bengalis is to invade Myanmar as they are living in severely overcrowded conditions. Even now they are demanding territory like Safe Zone, then they will ask for No-Fly Zone. Again, full security must be guaranteed to them under the supervision of UN and OIC, not the Myanmar government. Bangladesh does not want a decrease in Bengali population in Rakhine State. Refugees are being organized to invade Rakhine State.  In the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina requested international assistance for one million refugees, but it is being consumed and distributed among them…”

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ARNO Statement to the 11th UN Forum on Minority Issues

30 November 2018
Madam Chairperson,

My name is Nurul Islam. I am Rohingya. I am Chairman of the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO). I was born in Muangdaw township of Rakhine State, in a country then called Burma and now called Myanmar. From the birth of the State on January 4th, 1948, my people have been nationals of Burma now Myanmar. We were loyal participants in the national political processes, for which we had recognized Political Parties and, until 2015, we voted in elections. We have not and do not seek to separate from the Union of Myanmar. Unfortunately, my people have been subjected to systematic persecution for half a century including the steady suspension of almost all our human rights, including freedoms to marry, have children, education, movement and so much else. In addition to the violation of our human rights, we have been subjected to the effective withdrawal of our citizenship. Ultimately, we have been subjected to the destruction of our community – to genocide.

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Press release – Myanmar, not Bangladesh, is responsible for failed repatriation

Press release 20, November 2018

On behalf of the Rohingya people, we would like to express regret and disgust at Myanmar’s policy of continuously blaming Bangladesh for the failure of repatriation of Rohingya refugees. As we all know, the ground reality in Arakan (Rakhine) State makes repatriation of Rohingya refugees impossible as the brutal state machinery continues their genocide of the defenceless Muslim community, a policy in place for more than half a century. The sad truth is that Myanmar government has no intention of creating condition for sustainable repatriation and is responsible for failed repatriation and deserving of blame. We strongly condemn it.

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ARNO
Press Release

Press release – Norway must take action over atrocities uncovered at Telenor tower in Alethankyaw

Press release 21, December 2018

Norway must take action over atrocities uncovered at 
Telenor tower in Alethankyaw

On November 22, 2018, the Rohingya news agency Kaladan Press Network released a report “the Killing Fields of Alethankyaw,” which exposed atrocities by Burmese government security forces at the Telenor telecommunication tower premises in Alethankyaw village, southern Maungdaw, in August 2017. Snipers climbed the tower to shoot at fleeing men, women and children, and villagers’ bodies were deposited under the tower. 

On November 29, 2018, Telenor responded to the report with a statement on its website, saying they were “initiating dialogue with relevant authorities to express our concern and seek further facts on the matter.” 

Reports

Understanding the Persecution of the Rohingya Minority in Myanmar

by Robin Lindley An interview with international criminal law attorney Regina Paulose. More than 626,000 Rohingya were driven from Myanmar (formerly Burma) by security forces of the country that “deliberately and massively targeted civilians” in a series of brutal...

Rohingya Library

All ABOUT ROHINGYA

Press  Release

Joint Statement – UN Investigators Confirm ‘Myanmar Genocide of Rohingya’, UNSC must support ICC referral and Urgent International Protection for the Rohingya

Joint Statement
28/08.2018

We, the undersigned Rohingya Organisations worldwide welcome the report released yesterday (27 August 2017) by the UN Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (FFM) calling on the international community to take action against Myanmar for its genocide against the Rohingya people.

The FFM, consisting of three human rights experts, which was established by the UN Human Rights Council in 2017, called on Myanmar’s top military generals, including Commander-in-Chief Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing, to be investigated and prosecuted for genocide in the north of Rakhine State, as well as for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States. It also points out that the civilian authorities, including State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi are implicit in the genocide against Rohingya for contributing to the commission of atrocity crimes through their acts and omissions.

Joint Press release: Crackdown on Yaba Trade

Joint Press release dated 23nd May 2018

Crackdown on Yaba Trade

We, the undersigned Rohingya organisations worldwide welcome the recent declaration of the Bangladesh Government’s intention to launch a strong crackdown against yaba trade starting from this Ramadan.

We appeal to the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh to launch a war against drugs by taking a strong and decisive stance against the flow of yaba pills from the Myanmar.

Joint Statement: Rohingyas’ concerns over the repatriation of refugees from Bangladesh

We, the undersigned Rohingya organisations worldwide express our serious concern over an agreement, signed on 23rd November 2017, between Myanmar and Bangladesh on the return of some 670,000 Rohingya refugees who have recently taken refuge in Bangladesh after fleeing Myanmar genocide.

But the question is how the terrified and traumatized refugees would be repatriated to Arakan/Rakhine State where they experienced, witnessed and fled the genocidal brutality of Myanmar troops, Rakhine extremists and other vigilantes. There is no change of attitude of the Myanmar government and its Military towards Rohingya; still they identify Rohingya as recent “Bengali interlopers” from Bangladesh; and Rohingyas continue entering into Bangladesh due to continuing violence and brutality against them in Arakan.

Press Release: Still to uncover more mass graves; U.N. investigation into “genocide’ in Northern Rakhine State most urgent

Press release 12 January 2018

Crimes against humanity and genocide have been committed against Rohingya population in Myanmar, with full impunity and knowledge of the government, with intent to destroy this ethnic community from their ancestral homeland of Arakan/Rakhine State.

Wholesale destruction of life, property and villages; widespread killing of women, men and children; rape, extermination, enslavement, enforced disappearance, expulsion and other inhuman acts are committed against the Rohingya civilians forcing some 670,000 survivors to take refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh since 26 August 2017. We appreciate that Bangladesh has shown to the world unparalleled humanitarian gesture by stepping up and taking on huge burden.

Press Release: The Problem in Rakhine State is not ‘Quarrel’ but Genocide

05 November 2017

At long last, for the first time on 2nd November the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had visited crisis-hit Northern Arakan/Rakhine State amidst international pressure and criticism apparently to whitewash the gravest situation of the defenceless Rohingya that the UN has called a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing” and “the world fasted growing refugee crisis and a major humanitarian emergency” while experts in international law have called it “genocide”.

Press Release: How Long You Lie To Deny Rohingya Existence

Press release 15 October 2017

We strongly condemn the remarks of Myanmar Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing to American Ambassador Scot Marciel.

On 11 October the General said, “Rohingya are Bengali. The Bengalis were not taken into the country by Myanmar but by the colonialists. British colonialists were responsible for the problem. Their native place is really Bengal. They might have fled to the other country (Bangladesh) with the same language, race and culture as theirs, assuming they would be safer there. They are not the natives and the records prove that they were not even called Rohingya but just Bengalis during the colonial period.”

Press Release: Repatriation proposal is trickery, Myanmar authorities are not trustworthy

Press release 5 October 2017

During recent weeks more than half a million Rohingya refugees have taken refuge in Bangladesh due to genocide by Suu Kyi-army regime in Myanmar.

The governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed, on 2nd October, to work on a repatriation plan. State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said that verified refugees will be accepted. But the question is how the terrified and traumatized refugees would be repatriated to Arakan/Rakhine State where they experienced, witnessed and fled the genocidal brutality of Myanmar troops, Rakhine terrorists and other vigilantes. Despite assurance by the Myanmar government the violence and brutality continue. There were arson attacks on Quarter No.5 of Maungdaw town even today.

Press Release: Aung San Suu Kyi’s disingenuous speech fails to address Rohingya genocide

Press release 21 September 2017

The Rohingya people are outraged by the highly contentious and ambiguous speech of the Myanmar State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivered before the diplomatic community on 19 September in Naypyidaw. She made numerous disingenuous excuses that fail to address the crisis, the untold sufferings of the Rohingya people, that the U.N stated a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing.”

Joint Press Release: ICC declines to protect Stateless Rohingya from Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity
Joint Press release: 16th September 2017
 
We the undersigned organisations would like to stress that, with the initiative of the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO), the Rohingya Intellectual Community Association of Australia filed through their Counsel, a communication with the International Criminal Court (“the ICC”) in December 2015 and filed a follow up communication in August 2017, with the support of the Rohingya Community Worldwide.
 

Press release: Maungdaw Investigation Commission’s report is not credible

Press release: 7 August 2017


Arakan Rohingya National Organsation (ARNO) strongly denounces and rejects the report, dated 6 August 2017, of the Maungdaw Investigation Commission headed by Myanmar Vice-President Myint Swe, a former military general. The report is “fundamentally flawed” and devoid of truth.

We are not surprised that the government’s commission denies “crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing” against the Rohingya people, where Myanmar military and security forces were the perpetrators.
 
We reiterate that the commission lacked independence and proper mandate; its members are not impartial or competent; it fails to provide adequate and effective protection for witnesses; and it has not given any consideration to the independent expert’s recommendations. The report neither provides accountability nor reconciliation but impunity. It, in fact, is a blatant disregard of the human rights of the victims. 

Experts Writing

Xenophobic Burmese Literary Works – a Problem of Democratic Development in Burma

 ‘One blood, one voice, one command’. You cannot build unity with such a slogan especially when 40% of your population is different.-Harn Yawnghwe Director of the Brussels-based Euro-Burma Office.

This excerpt is from Abid Bahar’s book Burma’s Missing Dots-the Emerging Face of Genocide, Ch 2

For the past half a century, the uninterrupted military rule in Burma, characterized by xenophobia and oppression against minorities’ caused the eclipse of much of Burma’s people’s history. Minorities culturally and racially different from the dominating Burmans have been uprooted from their localities under the pretext of being “Kula,” ”Non natives,” or even outright "foreigners." Nowhere is it as serious as in the province of Arakan. Arakan's historic location between South Asia and South-East Asia makes it a “frontier culture” of two major ethnic groups, the Rakhines and the Rohingyas.  Here the problem persists between these two major ethnic groups. A survey of the mainstream Burmese literature shows common features of hate and xenophobia. Some of these works are so well-crafted that they could mislead casual readers of Arakan as seemingly academic works. In this chapter, the report of the survey is presented and the research concludes that the growing chauvinistic literary works have the potential to breed intolerance and aggression in society – factors that could contribute to producing more refugees to its neighboring states. The survey also notes that these beliefs and attitudes among the xenophobic intelligentsia could also be the antecedents to the problems facing democratic development in Burma.

Arakani King: A Lover or a Murderer of the Suja Family?

Abid Bahar
 
Rabindra Nath Tagore's short story Dalia is about the story of Shah Suja's daugher Amina and the king of Arakan. Shah Suja and his family were given the promise of assilyum in Arakan by the King and were also promised to be sent to Mecca. Thus, Suja began his unfortunate journey from Chittagong through the now called Shah Suja Road. As they arrived in Arakan, Suja's daughter Amina was asked to give marrage to the King. When refused, the entire family was massacred at the order of the King. All of Suja's children were brutally killed by axe.

The exodus has not stopped: Why Rohingyas continue to leave Myanmar

By Chris Lewa, Forum Asia, Bangkok

Delivered at the Medecins Sans Frontieres Conference:

“10 Years for the Rohingya Refugees: Past, Present and Future”

Dhaka – 1 April 2002

As long as the situation in Rakhine State does not show any fundamental improvement, Rohingya people will continue to enter and seek shelter in Bangladesh.  The refugees in the two remaining camps are only the visible side of an outflow that has never ceased.  Indeed, the exodus of Rohingya to Bangladesh has never stopped.  Every day, new Rohingya individuals and families continue to cross the border illegally and seek sanctuary in Bangladesh.  It is no longer a mass exodus, but a constant trickle.  This influx seems to be encouraged and at the same time strictly controlled by the Myanmar authorities, and concurrently it is rendered invisible by the Bangladesh administration.  New arrivals are denied access to the refugee camps, and these undocumented Rohingya have no other option than to survive among the local population outside the camps.  Their exact number is unknown.  An estimate of 100,000 has regularly been cited for several years now, which does not take into account the constant increase.  According to the local press, there may be as many as 200,000 living in the Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf-Bandarban area and this amount appears to be more realistic.   They are not referred to as refugees but labelled as “economic migrants”. 

 

ISSUES TO BE RAISED CONCERNING THE SITUATION OF

ROHINGYA CHILDREN IN MYANMAR (BURMA)

SUBMISSION TO THE COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
For the Examination of the 2nd periodic State Party Report

 -MYANMAR-

November 2003

By Chris Lewa

Submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child

FORUM-ASIA wishes to draw the attention of the Committee on the Rights of the Child to the situation of Rohingya children in Rakhine State, Myanmar[1], and hopes that these issues will be addressed during the examination of Myanmar’s second periodic report.

The Rohingya: Exclusion and discrimination

The Muslim population of Rakhine State, known as Rohingya[2] and closely related to the Chittagonian people of Southern Bangladesh, is being discriminated against on the basis of their ethnicity and religion.   They have been excluded from the nation-building process in Myanmar and the military regime has implemented policies of exclusion and discrimination against this group aimed at encouraging them to leave the country.  These systematic policies have maintained underdevelopment and have been the driving force behind two mass refugee exoduses to Bangladesh, in 1978 and again in 1991/92.  The combination of human right violations the Rohingya face — from the denial of legal status to restriction of movement and economic constraints — creates food insecurity and makes life in Northern Rakhine State untenable for many.

Rohingya children, in particular, are innocent victims suffering from the debilitating consequences of these government policies, which dramatically affect their physical and mental development, and will have long-lasting effects for the future of the Rohingya community.

 

Forced Migration in the South Asian Region: Displacement, Human Rights and Conflict Resolution

THE ROHINGYA:
FORCED MIGRATION AND STATELESSNESS
Chris Lewa[i],  

Paper submitted for publication in a book edited by Omprakash Mishra on "Forced Migration in South Asian Region", Centre for Refugee studies Jadavpur University, Calcutta and Brookings Institution Project on Internal Displacement.

28th February 2001In the eyes of the media and the general public, whether in Bangladesh or further afield, the situation of the Rohingya from Burma[ii] is usually referred to as a “refugee problem”.  Over the last two decades, Bangladesh has born the brunt of two mass exoduses, each of more then 200,000 people, placing them among the largest in Asia.  Each of these massive outflows of refugees was followed by mass repatriation to Burma.  Repatriation has been considered the preferred solution to the refugee crisis.  However, this has not proved a durable solution, since the influx of Rohingyas over international borders has never ceased.  And it is unlikely that it will stop, so long as the root causes of this unprecedented exodus are not effectively remedied.  The international community has often focussed its attention on the deplorable conditions in the refugee camps in Bangladesh, rather than on the root causes of the problem, namely the denial of legal status and other basic human rights to the Rohingya in Burma. This approach doubtless stems from the practical difficulty of confronting an intractable military regime which refuses to recognise the Rohingya as citizens of Burma, and of working out solutions acceptable to all parties involved. The actual plight and continuous exodus of the Rohingya people has been rendered invisible.  Though they continue to cross international borders, they are also denied the right of asylum, being labelled “economic migrants”.  The international community has preferred to ignore the extent of this massive forced migration, which has affected not only Bangladesh, but also other countries such as Pakistan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, etc.  Images Asia, Thailand

Northern Arakan/Rakhine State:a Chronic Emergency

 

By Chris LewaConsultant and Coordinator of the Arakan Project    Delivered at the Burma/Myanmar Forum 2006 A Conference organised by the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS) Panel I – Challenges: Working in Burma/Myanmar    

Brussels, 29 March 2006


Northern Arakan State is one of the main pockets of acute poverty and vulnerability in Burma.  This region, adjacent to the border with Bangladesh, experiences what many refer to as a “chronic emergency” and there is an absolute consensus among the local population as well as humanitarian actors that international aid is, despite its limited impact, essential to avert a new mass outflow of refugees to Bangladesh. 

Asia’s new boat people

By Chris Lewa On 25 November 2007, a trawler and two ferry boats carrying some 240 Rohingyas being smuggled to Malaysia sank in the Bay of Bengal. About 80 survived; the rest drowned. A week later, another boat sank, allegedly fired at by the Burmese Navy. 150...

Testimony by Chris Lewa Coordinator, on International Religious Freedom

December 3, 2007

Mr. Chair, Honorable Commissioners, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to thank you for inviting me before this commission. Having worked with ethnic people from Burma and, more specifically with the Rohingya minority for the last 7 years, I am honored to offer a testimony today.
Arakan State of Burma is by far the most tense and explosive region of the country. The refugee outflows to Bangladesh in 1978 and again in 1991/92, each of about 250,000 Rohingya, did not result from counter-insurgency strategies as it is the case along the Thai-Burma border, but is the direct outcome of policies of discrimination, oppression and exclusion against the Rohingya population.
THOUGHTS ON MUSLIMS OF BURMA AND CURRENT EVENTS THERE


BY DR. HABIB SIDDIQUI

Burma is a country that has people of many races, ethnicities and religions. Because of lack of reliable census data the exact number of these various communities is not known. There is no question though that the Buddhist population makes up the vast majority in the country, followed by Muslims, Christians, Hindus and animists. According to non-official estimates by various agencies (including those of the US State Department), the Muslim population in Burma is somewhere between 10 to 20%, including the much-discriminated and suffering Rohingya population of Arakan (Rakhaing) state, whose nearly half the population is now living in Diaspora as refugees in many parts of our world as a result of Burma's inhuman, discriminatory Citizenship Law of 1982.

Rohingya: The forgotten people

Dr. Habib Siddiqui
An often-practised devious way to grab someone's land is to deny his right to that property. Nothing could be more horrific when a government itself gets into such a criminal practice. The most glaring example of such a crime can be seen in the practices of the regimes that have ruled Burma (now Myanmar) since its independence from Britain in 1948 (especially, since 1962 when Gen. Ne Win came to power). In our times, one can hardly find a regime that has been so atrocious, so inhuman and so barbarous in its denial of basic human rights to a people that trace their origin to the land for nearly a millennium. The victims are the Rohingya Muslims living in the Arakan (now Rakhine) state. They have become the forgotten people of our time.

Just Imagine This!

Dr. Habib Siddiqui

[Author’s note: This paper is based on author’s speech at the PENN HUMAN RIGHTS FORUM on “The Rohingyas of Burma and Bangladesh” on Friday, March 31, 2006 in the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. The material in this paper came from author’s personal contacts with the Rohingya Diaspora community and information that is available in the reports of various human rights groups, notably the Amnesty International, the Human Rights Watch and the Karen Human Rights Group.]  

Part 1: Nightmare, fiction or a living reality?

Imagine this. You are living in a country that does not recognize you as a citizen in spite of the fact that your forefathers lived there for centuries. If that were not enough of a traumatic experience, consider that other ethnic groups who are fighting the regime for self-determination and human rights consider you as outsiders. It must be your worst kind of nightmare when you realize that half of your people have been forced to take asylum or refuge outside, and you may be the next in line to seek a way out of this living hell.

Religious & Racial Riots due to Rumours

I am somewhat disappointed reading some accusatory notes in which they seemed to accept the alleged rape story of Buddhist girls/women by Muslims for a fact.

Rohingya History

The Crescent in Arakan

“The Crescent in Arakan “is a view of an Israeli expert Moshe Yegar of Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

 

Bengal – Arakan Relations: A Study in Historical Perspective

Dr. Mohamed Ali

 

Bengal and Arakan were two neighbouring countries; they are neighbour even now but under changed political setup. The Naf river is the border line between the two countries. The Arakanese chronicles claim that the kingdom was founded in the year 2666 B.C.1 For many centuries Arakan had been an independent Kingdom due to its geographical location with occasional short breaks .It was ruled by various legendary dynasties and they established capital in different places alternately transferring from one place to another; they are Dinnawadi ,Vesali, Pyinsa, Parin, Krit, Launggayet and Mrohaung ( Mrauk- U) . All these capitals were situated in the Akyab district on or near the river Lemru. The last line of rulers, i.e, kings of the Mrohaung dynasty and their relations with contemporary Muslim rulers of Bengal is the subject matter of our study.

Islam in Arakan: An interpretation from the Indian perspective: History and the Present

Dr. Swapna Bhattacharya (Chakraborti),

 

Introduction and Problematic: Reflections from Indian Perspectives

 

The history of Arakan or the Rakhine State ofMyanmar is matchless due to various, partly, very complex, factors. The foremost among the factors which makes the history of Arakan so complex, at the same time, unique, is the region's close contact with the Indian civilization. Unless the pulse of the interaction between the Buddhist world of Arakan and the Hindu-Buddhist civilization of India (especially Eastern  India)  with  Islam  of India  in  between  is  not  felt,  Arakan  remains unintelligible. 

Rohingya Culture

Rohingya Language has received ISO recognition

Rohingyas have already received ISO (International Standard Organization) recognition for their language that is Rohingya/Rohingya language. SIL.ORG has already released, as the final approval as of 18 July 2007, the code  (RHG) as the Language code for...

Scholarship from Awqaf Kuwait for higher Education

By HasanThere is an announcement for higher education scholarship from Al Awqaf of Kuwait in relevant field to endowment. If you are interested, please visit the following link (Written in Arabic)http://www.awqaf.org/portal.aspx?tabid=329  

Study in Sudan
By Hasan 

Education is the backbone of any nation. Without educated patriotic people our struggle toward regaining our rights and self determination shall remain at distance. At such we have from the very beginning of the leadership, tried to facilitate our people with whatever means to assist them in their plight for education.  Today we have initiated a new project of facilitating information and resources to our people to provide them with a guide to further their education. With the hope, one day they will lead the nation further and serve the community to their best.

Rohingya Books

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