Ro­hingyas – Stop the geno­cide!

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPEAK UP -

THERE is in­creas­ing recog­ni­tion of the fact that “eth­nic cleans­ing” of the Ro­hingyas is tak­ing place in Rakhine, Myan­mar. A num­ber of groups and in­di­vid­u­als are com­ing to terms with this grim re­al­ity es­pe­cially af­ter the “ev­i­dence of a new reign of ter­ror and whole­sale de­struc­tion of com­mu­ni­ties ex­er­cised by the Myan­mar state against the Ro­hingya pop­u­la­tion has emerged” in Oc­to­ber and this month. On Nov 25, the Malaysian govern­ment of­fi­cially re­ferred to the “al­leged eth­nic cleans­ing” of the Ro­hingyas.

Given the con­straints of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions within the con­text of their com­mon Asean mem­ber­ship, the Malaysian govern­ment has more than at any time in the past ad­mon­ished the Myan­mar govern­ment for its acts of com­mis­sion and omis­sion vis-à-vis the tragic plight of the Ro­hingya peo­ple. The Malaysian govern­ment should now try to con­vince the other Asean gov­ern­ments that a slow geno­cide has been un­fold­ing in Rakhine since 1978. It should share the over­whelm­ing ev­i­dence gar­nered by cred­i­ble re­searchers and hu­man rights or­gan­i­sa­tions of mass killings of Ro­hingyas, their forced dis­place­ment, the de­nial of ac­cess to food, health­care and em­ploy­ment and the sys­tem­atic re­fusal of the state of Myan­mar to recog­nise Ro­hingya iden­tity. Col­lec­tively, the nine Asean gov­ern­ments should now per­suade the Myan­mar govern­ment to: Stop im­me­di­ately the mas­sacre of the Ro­hingyas; Re­store the most fun­da­men­tal rights of the Ro­hingyas as hu­man be­ings; Recog­nise the right of the Ro­hingyas to their iden­tity; and Ac­cord the right to cit­i­zen­ship to the Ro­hingyas. Malaysia and other Asean gov­ern­ments should con­vince other Asian gov­ern­ments which have vast eco­nomic ties with Myan­mar such as China, In­dia and Ja­pan to raise is­sues per­tain­ing to jus­tice for the Ro­hingyas with the Myan­mar govern­ment. Diplo­macy should be used to the fullest for this pur­pose. There is no rea­son why gov­ern­ments out­side Asia should not also be drawn into this ef­fort for the Ro­hingyas.

There is an ad­di­tional rea­son why the world should act now. On Nov 24, 19 groups of Ro­hingyas from dif­fer­ent parts of the world took the ini­tia­tive to write to the Per­ma­nent Peo­ple’s Tri­bunal in Rome urg­ing the tri­bunal to ex­am­ine the sit­u­a­tion in Myan­mar from the per­spec­tive of state crime and geno­cide. These ini­tia­tors are backed by sup­port­ing ini­tia­tors from Malaysia, Cam­bo­dia, South Africa, Bri­tain and the United States. The In­ter­na­tional Move­ment for a Just World (JUST) and the Cen­tre for Hu­man Rights Re­search and Ad­vo­cacy ( Cen­thra) are among the sup­port­ing Ini­tia­tors.

Dr Chan­dra Muzaf­far Pres­i­dent JUST

Azril Mohd Amin Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Cen­thra

Ro­hingyas demon­strat­ing out­side the Myan­mar Em­bassy in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.