Monday, September 24, 2012

Do they celebrate Raya in Rohingya?

Kelab Putera Malaysia President, Dato Azeez Raheem had wanted to celebrate Hari Raya with the Rohingyas.

Through out Ramadhan, he has been gathering donors for aids to the Rohingyas and should have gone to Arakians in early Syawal. Bloggers have been getting one after another of SMSes informing his press conferences and launches.

He couldn't do exactly as he did last year in Somali. And he lost the opportunity to highlight the plight of the Rohingyas. His loads were already on board the Navy ship but the expected clearance from Myanmar or Bangla Desh official was not forthcoming.

While Malaysian are stuffing themselves over long string of a new tradition that seemed to be willingly embraced by the corporate sector called Hari Raya open houses, Azeez delay was the subject of gossip for keeping the Navy ship out of operations.

And while Malaysian begin to realise and discuss of the excessive Raya celebration and the overeating from a tradition that started as District Officers giving the rakyat a feast for the first day of Hari Raya after prayers on behalf of the Head of States to be come a corporate event, Azeez was going back and forth communicating and travelling between Yangon/Decca and Kuala Lumpur.

Hopefully this time, he succeed to begin the voyage with 480 tons of aids on September 29th. For many several times, we were alerted of Prime Minister Dato Najib or/and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir launching his aid mission but was delayed. [Read here].

Off course, Azeez does not need to make such big publicity and face such casualty as last year's death of Bernama cameraman Noramfarizul (Al Fatihah!), more so the much publicity he is drumming up for his Rohingyas trip.

Give credit where is due. Not many apart from Yayasan Salam and few other NGOs, dare do such feat.

Last one would expect is from Bar Council, DAP, SUARAM, Bersih, PSM, etc. who never gave a damn to the Israelis atrocities on Palestinians. Anwar Ibrahim and PKR only gave token concern as they fear to another Apology Tour to the power with interest on Myanmar.

Give Azeez a break to be a politician and do what politician do. As long as he keeps the public up-dated and appreciate the difficulty he has to face, he should be fine. It is not an easy task.

What many did not know, Azeez paid for Noramfarizul's badal haji (paying someone to do Haj for a deceased) last year. In Ramadhan, he managed to arrange for both his parents tickets for Haj this year.

Azeez can't bring back Noramfarizul from the spiritual world for a mistake he has to take responsibility, but one can't give a better replacement than completing his and his parents' Rukun Islam.

Azeez maybe a politician but there is some purity and sincerity inside his dark exterior, which is increasingly resembling the dark skinned Rohingyas.

The challenge to help the Rohingyas must be appreciated. The Rohingyas of Myanmar was described by the United Nation as "the world's most persecuted and oppressed  ethnic minority."

Picture taken from Majlis Ulama Rohingya here.

This blogger had the opportunity to attend a close Hari Raya celebration and meet a group of local Rohingya organisation.

If only our Samsung Tab had not broke down few weeks ago and pictures taken was not wiped out during servicing, we could share it here. However, one can read and keep track of the issues and development and images of the atrocities in this blog belonging to the Majlis Ulama Rohingyas. [Read here]

To understand their plight, Perdana Global Peace Organisation [read PGPO here] organised a conference on September 17, 2012.

In his keynote speech, Tun Dr Mahathir expressed the need to find the solution to the plight of the Rohingyas. and not merely "to condemn anyone." He explained that Malaysia had a similar immigrant problem but a solution was put in place.

The problem and genocide on the Rohingyas did not receive sufficient international media attention. During the discussion, Dr Mahathir also commented that he does not understand the problem deep enough.

News Straits Times summarised their problem in their editorial here dated September 20th, 2012

Rohingyas burned alive
Plight of the Rohingya 
WHILE the root causes of their problems lie inside Myanmar, the plight of the Rohingya has no boundaries, which was reason enough for the Perdana Global Peace Foundation to organise an international conference at the Islamic Arts Museum in Kuala Lumpur on Monday. But when the Myanmar president already has a solution which has the backing of monks on the streets of Yangon and Mandalay, convening a conference to seek solutions may seem a little presumptuous and meddlesome. When people do not meet the criteria for citizenship, it does make sense to treat them as illegal immigrants. In which case, the "only solution" is to expel them. But, then again, as this solution has created problems in the form of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have sought shelter in other countries for decades, there is good reason to come together to come up with other solutions, like amending the law to make them eligible for citizenship, as urged by the participants at the end of the one-day conference. 
Unlike the other ethnic minorities, most of the Muslims did not settle in Myanmar before the British arrived in 1824. Neither are all the Muslims in Myanmar the Rohingya. But these direct descendants of the immigrants from modern Bangladesh are certainly not new arrivals, as they have lived in Myanmar for more than a century before it became a modern nation-state. As such, the Rohingya rightfully call Myanmar their home and should not be regarded as aliens. Recognising them as citizens, as proposed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his keynote address, and allowing them to stay and live there is the honourable and preferred solution. 
But what Aung Sang Suu Kyi said in Washington on Tuesday about the National League for Democracy not being in a "position to decide" as it is not the "party in power" is doubly true of a conference of solution-seekers that provides an outsider's perspective. Nevertheless, as Myanmar has shown itself ready to "transform", as the former Malaysian premier put it, there is hope that it will revisit the 1982 Citizenship Law. The international community should certainly work with all the leaders in Myanmar. As the Nobel laureate and democracy icon is being honoured with a Congressional Gold Medal on her American tour for her "leadership", commitment to "human rights" and promotion of "freedom, peace and democracy", it is only fitting that she takes "an unequivocal and proactive role'' on the Rohingya issue, as urged by the conference. The international community certainly expects her to speak out clearly against violence, intolerance and prejudice. [Read our past posting on Suu Kyi here]
One of the many speakers, a former Amnesty International Thailand researcher Benjamin Zawacki caught our attention.

He described the violence against the Rohingya as "systemic discrimination" in the law,  policy and practices of the Myanmar government. The lack of accountability for civilians and officials makes the violence and violations somehow justifiable.

Rohingya’s sufferings began with the 1978 “Dragon King” operation, where the army committed widespread killings and rape of Rohingya civilians and mass destruction of mosques and other religious persecution, resulting in the exodus of about 200,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh.

Many waves of similar campaign of forced labour, summary executions, torture and rape in 1992, 2001, 2009 and 2012. The current ones involved Government protecting the Rakhines, another discriminated minority to do violence on the Rohingyas.

The citizenship law divides citizenship to three classes of citizens — full, associate, and naturalised. Full citizenship is reserved for those whose ancestors settled in Myanmar before 1823 or are among Myanmar’s more than 130 recognised national ethnic groups.

The Rohingyas is not included in the 130 and none has since received any class of citizenship despite being indigenous in the region of Arakians.

Read on in PGPO blog here.

At the end of the one day conference, they came down with a 16 points resolutions, below:
We, the undersigned organisations and undersigned participants of the Conference; 
  • Acknowledging the minority Muslim Rohingya are an ethnic group numbering more than 1 million presently residing in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, 
  • Recognising that Rohingyas have been living in Myanmar for centuries and had been recognised as full-fledged citizens of the state of Burma (Myanmar) by previous governments of Burma, the international community and the authorities during the British colonial period. 
  • Mindful of the decision of the government of Myanmar to effectively strip the Rohingyas of citizenship under the 1982 Citizenship Law, 
  • Observing with serious concern that the Rakhine Buddhist community and in particular the Rohingya Muslim community suffered from sectarian violence that erupted in Rakhine State in June 2012, 
  • Observing the current tragic situation facing the Rohingya including violent acts of oppression and human rights violations by state security forces, widespread discrimination by the dominant ethnic Burman society, threats to their security by hostile local Rakhine populations, and continued statelessness that makes them highly vulnerable to abuses, 
  • Concerned over the thousands of displaced and stateless Rohingyas living in Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Australia, India, Japan, Pakistan, the Middle East and throughout the world, 
  • Gravely concerned that the government of Myanmar has failed to observe its responsibility to fulfil its international human rights and humanitarian obligations with respect to the Rohingyas 
  • Fully cognisant of systematic crimes against the Rohingya community such as killings, forced labour, rape, and denial of access to adequate humanitarian aid, 
  • Echoing the various concerns about the mistreatment and fate of the Rohingya held by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and citizens concerned with global humanitarian issues, 
  • Noting with disappointment the absence of a comprehensive solution in addressing the plight of the Rohingya, 
  • Seriously concerned with the consequences of a prolonged non-resolution of the Rohingya issue including the segregation of displaced Rohingya in the Rakhine state capital of Sittwe, the continued lack of humanitarian access and sufficient aid to displaced Rohingya, and spill-over effects on neighbouring South Asian and ASEAN member countries, 
  • Recognising the political and ethno-religious nature of the issue and human rights dimensions that require determined action by Myanmar’s leadership with the support of the people, 
Unequivocally agree to; 
  • Strongly condemn the continuing acts of violence, rape, beatings, burning of dwellings, killings, arbitrary arrests, detentions and enforced disappearances of the Rohingya,
  • Strongly deplore all forms of oppression, suppression, persecution, discrimination, intimidation and severe restrictions against the Rohingya on the grounds of ethnicity and religion, 
  • Call on the government of Myanmar to recognise the legitimate rights of the Rohingyas to live in peace, to move freely within the country, and create conditions for the safe and voluntary return of displaced Rohingya to their homes or alternative locations of their choosing without persecution or discrimination including respect for the rights to shelter, food, water, health care, education and basic sanitation according to international human rights law, norms and standards, 
  • Call on the government of Myanmar to amend the 1982 Citizenship Act to recognise or grant citizenship to persons of Rohingya ethnicity on the same basis as others with genuine and effective links to Myanmar by reasons such as birth, residency or descent, and treat them as equal citizens under International and Burmese Law. 
  • Ensure, in accordance to Article 7 of the convention on the Rights of the Child, that Rohingya children have the right to acquire a nationality where otherwise they would be stateless, 
  • Strongly urge the government of Myanmar to stabilise the situation in the Rakhine state and to take the necessary administrative actions to protect, safeguard and uphold the lives, dignity and property of the Rohingyas as well as legally recognising them as one of Myanmar’s ethnic groups on the same basis as other ethnic group, 
  • Call upon the government of Myanmar to carry out full and fair investigations and, where warranted, conduct trials meeting international due process standards against those individuals and state security forces who were responsible for criminal offenses, including rape, killings, arson and looting, during sectarian violence in Rakhine state, 
  • Take note of the government of Myanmar’s decision to establish a 27- member Commission to probe the sectarian violence and recommend steps to resolve the crisis, 
  • Welcome the government of Myanmar’s decision to allow diplomatic missions, independent observers and fact-finding teams including those from the OIC, ASEAN and the Perdana Global Peace Foundation to visit Rakhine state to ascertain the situation affecting the Rohingya, 
  • Urge the government of Myanmar to recognise the multi-ethnic reality of the country and that its failure to resolve the Rohingya problem will undermine its current reform and progress towards national reconciliation, democracy and prosperity, 
  • Call on Aung San Syu Kyi and the National League for Democracy Party as well as other political parties to promote ethnic rights and equality in Myanmar and take an unequivocal and proactive role in ending the plight of the Rohingyas, 
  • Request the governments of Bangladesh and other destination countries to provide temporary protection to the Rohingya and to allow the international community to provide food and other humanitarian assistance to them pending a political solution of the Rohingya problem, 
  • Urge ASEAN, to play a more proactive, substantive and effective role in resolving the Rohingya problem in the interest of regional peace and stability, 
  • Call on Muslim groups and communities to show due solidarity and exert pressure on their governments, UN agencies civil and faith – based societies to actively support the rights of the Rohingya, 
  • Strongly encourage ASEAN and OIC’s efforts in bringing up the Rohingya issue to the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, 
  • Call on the UN to facilitate the establishment of a ‘cordon sanitaire’ for internally displaced Rohingyas to provide a safe and humane environment for the victims pending the attainment of a political solution, 
  • Convey a copy of the Resolution to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, President of Myanmar, the Secretary General of ASEAN, the Secretary General of the OIC and the Secretary General of the United Nations. 
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
17 September 2012
For Azeez, hope he could get the aids in time and allow the Rohingyas to celebrate Raya Haji. Life could be bleak for them but give them something to celebrate. Give them some hope that there are humans in Malaysia concerned for their plight.

The latest update, Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin launched the "pelepasan kargo" for this humanitarian mission for the Rohingya this morning at Morthport Port Klang.

Bon voyage and have a safe voyage. 


Anonymous said...

Thanks for post and I do pray that those involved would be given the strength and patiences to see it all thru...

Anonymous said...

In 1995 when the Bosnian being prosecuted by Serb,Malay sia under Tun Mahathir play vary important role to save them.Tun manage to get the support from Pakistan goverment to supply the deadly weapon call "Green Eyes",paid for not by our goverment by the Saudi billionair,and smuggle into Bosnia by Turkish agents.With this weapon the Bosnia manage to defeated the Serb.

Rohingya need similar help but who want to initiated.Tun no longer the PM.Rohingya issue is not as simple as whatbwe think.We. Have Bangladesh goverment under Sheikh Mujibur Rahman daughter ,stopping all the Muslim NGO from helping Rohinghya living in

Accoding to my friend from MuslimAid NGO,he asked the Myamar ambassador in Bangladesh,why the Myamar goverment reuse the let Rohinghya become Myamar citizen.He reply,we dont want Myamar become like Indonesia.When asked to explain,he said in the early century,Indonesia was rule by Buddist King,Now Indonesia is ruled by Muslim.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous/9.59pm

It was the Americans that help save the Bosnian muslims from the serbs. The US started bombing serb targets when the serbs refused to pull out of Bosnia (one of the targets "accidentally" hit was the Chinese Consulate in Serbia ). Read up on your history and facts. No other muslim country came to the help of the bosnians.

Anonymous said...

jadi rohingya lagi senang kot. aku ni nak pinjam duit kat bank tak dapat, macam2 di mintak aku tak boleh menemui. Nak pinjam sedara yg kaya pon susah - depa lebeh suka tunjuk *kebaikan* kat org Palestina, Rohingya dlll. Ramai lagi org2 kita senasib macam saya. Kuman di sebarang nampak ,gajah depan mata di bisukan.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:37 AM

Perhaps your business idea is not realistic and viable, did you not consider that?

Anyway your attitude shows you as one of those selfish and self absorb individual without sympathy for mankind but only yourself.

I hope no one help you and you fail in your business.

Anonymous said...

That photo of 'Rohingyas burned alive' is actually a photo of the aftermath of a fuel tanker explosion in Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010.

BigDogDotCom said...

Shouldn't Azeez go and arrange clearance into Rohingya FIRST before announcing it, like a politician?

The two RMN vessels are KD Mahawangsa and KD Seri Indrasakti. Goods were uploaded into and downloaded out from both vessels twice. Yes, RMN normal operations involving these two ships were impaired, because of this mission of uncertainty.

Navy ships are for purpose of the nation. Not to fulfill exercise for politicians like Azeez to maximize the opportunity to be visible, for pre-GE candidacy short listing.

Azeez did maximize the trump card "PM says its okay" and even armed forces got sucked into his schemes.

If Azeez wants to do this in the future, he better learn to plan and get things moving FIRST before getting the TV comes into his living room. Don't be a 'Saudagar Sarkas Media'.

BTW, in Bosnia in 1995, it was different. Bosnia Herzegovina declared independence from the Yusoslavia Federation.

Darren Reynolds said...

The photograph was taken after an oil tanker explosion in Congo.

Make peace not war.

Darren Reynolds said...

The photograph was taken after an oil tank explosion in Congo.

Make peace not war

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