Finally taking note

The evolving Rohingya issue is finally gaining momentum internationally The dynamics pertaining to the issue of Rohingya Muslims has continued to come to the forefront of international attention. This has become particularly significant since November 11 this year....

Difficult to set a timeline for Rohingya return: UNHCR

The UN Refugee Agency yesterday said it is extremely difficult to set a timeline for creation of conducive environment for the return of Rohingyas. The UNHCR called on the international community to continue its support to Bangladesh and the humanitarian response...

Bangladesh stands ready to repatriate Rohingyas: Momen

DHAKA, Nov 26, 2019 (BSS) – Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen today ruled out Myanmar allegation against Bangladesh over the delay in Rohingya repatriation, saying Dhaka stands ready to send back all displaced people to their home of origin, Rakhine. “Myanmar...

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Press Release – STOP ARMY BRUTALITIES IN ARAKAN

Press Release – STOP ARMY BRUTALITIES IN ARAKAN

Press release 23, May 2019 STOP ARMY BRUTALITIES IN ARAKAN Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO) expresses its deep concern over the Myanmar military’s violence and brutalities against the civilian population in Arakan/Rakhine State and demands to...

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Bangladesh police “rescue” dozens of Rohingya being…

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh, May 14 – Bangladeshi police prevented dozens of Rohingya Muslims, most of them women, about to be trafficked to Malaysia by boat, authorities said on Tuesday. Traffickers had picked up at least 69 Rohingya from refugee camps in the Cox’s Bazar...

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Press  Release

A message from Nurul Islam, Chairman of the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO) on the occasion of the Rohingya National Day

“Bismillah, ar-Rahman, ar-Rahim”

“In The Name of Allah, The most Beneficent, the Most Merciful”

 

Dear Rohingya brothers and sisters,

Assalamo Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa barkatuh!

3rd January is the Rohingya National Day, a very important day for our people. It is indeed a great privilege and honour for me to send a message of congratulations to all Rohingya brothers and sisters, at home and abroad, on this auspicious occasion.

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.” 

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…”

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.

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.

Press release – US and Security Council Members Step-up Pressure on Myanmar

Representatives for the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO) have completed a two-week advocacy tour to the United States and United Nations, to galvanize international action to end the Rohingya genocide and ensure a sustainable, voluntary and protected return home for more than 1 million Rohingya refugees forced from Myanmar.

ARNO chairman Nurul Islam joined by Dr. Hla Myint, chair of the ARNO Foreign Relations Committee, who is also President of the Rohingya Intellectual Community Australia, and Honourable Philip Ruddock, Australia’s former Attorney General and Human Rights Envoy, on the margins of UN General Assembly week to urge the international community to step-up pressure on Myanmar’s military and civilian government, which were failing to make the necessary headway to implement UN resolutions and recommendations of the international community and world leaders, including the recommendations of the Annan Commission report. Speaking after the visit, Mr. Islam welcomed the support shown by the international community, and advocated greater urgency to ensure credible progress on the ground:

“We came to the United States and the United Nations with a clear message: In the face of genocide, there is no time to wait. Much more must be done to support the Rohingya’s calls for justice, dignity and a safe, voluntary and protected return home. Conditions on the ground are worsening—both inside Myanmar and in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar. Victims are increasingly impatient to see perpetrators of genocide and war criminals held to account. At the same time, Myanmar continues to waste time with sham reforms, and shows zero will to create the conditions needed to solve this crisis”.

Press Release: ARNO welcomes the Human Rights Council’s resolution on Myanmar and calls for further action towards full accountability

September 28, 2018

ARNO welcomes the UN Human Rights Council’s landmark resolution on the situation of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar. The Council calls for the establishment of a new impartial and independent mechanism (IIM) to collect, preserve and analyse evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011. In parallel, the extension of the mandate of the Fact-Finding Mission is key to ensuring continuity of action until the IIM is established. 

Press Release: The ARNO supports the efforts of Solicitor Daniel Robert Taylor  in pursuing efforts to prosecute Aung San Suu Kyi 

September 10, 2018

The ARNO supports the efforts of Solicitor Daniel Robert Taylor in pursuing efforts to prosecute Aung San Suu Kyi for various crimes under international criminal law. The Solicitor filed a summons in March 2018 seeking to charge Aung San Suu Kyi with crimes against humanity for forcible deportation of the Rohingya of Myanmar. However, the Attorney General of Australia refused to consent to the prosecution. On October 3rd a hearing will be held regarding this matter.

Press release – ARNO welcomes the Report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar

The Arakan Rohingya National Organization (ARNO) welcomes the Report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar. The report acknowledges the continued and “systematic oppression” of the Rohingya people, the complicity of Myanmar Security forces and other actors in the continued violence that precipitated and directly caused the events of August 2017, in addition recognizes genocidal intent exists to warrant an investigation and prosecution of military officials within Myanmar.

The ARNO welcomes the recommendations made by the Mission which emphasizes the need for pursuing justice for genocide and crimes against humanity in addition calling upon state parties to engage Myanmar to change these practices which are a direct violation of international law.

Experts Writing

A protest from a Rakhine historian against a press release on “Rohingya”

By Habib Siddiqui
 
Khin Maung Saw's thesis on trying to de-legitimatize the Rohingya history in Arakan is not new. For the last three years, as an obsessed, xenophobic Rakhine, much given to pen-pushing, and spread of hateful messages, he is known for trying his best to re-write history that would obliterate Rohingya's historicity in today's Arakan. His pseudo-history has been already refuted by others.

CSW visits Bangladesh-Burma border,

Interviews Rohingya refugees, saffron revolution monks and SPDC defectors. 09/09/2008Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) returned this week from a fact-finding visit to the Bangladesh-Burma border and is now calling on the international community to intensify...

Xenophobia: a brief analysis By Dr. Habib Siddiqui

 

By Dr. Habib Siddiqui

Dissident Voice
8/12/07

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Xenophobia as – fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign. As can be seen, for xenophobia there are two main objects of the phobia (fear). The first is a population group present within a society, which is not considered part of that society. Often they are recent immigrants, but xenophobia may be directed against a group which has been present for centuries. This form of xenophobia can draw out or facilitate hostile and violent reactions, such as mass expulsion of immigrants, or in the worst case, genocide. The second form of xenophobia is primarily cultural, and the objects of the phobia are cultural elements which are considered alien or foreign.

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.

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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