Friday, 16 January 2015

98 Rohingya migrants detained

Source Bangkokpost, 11 Jan

  • A Rohingya migrant receives a health examination at a detention centre in Songkhla's Sadao district. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERDA Rohingya migrant receives a health examination at a detention centre in Songkhla's Sadao district. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD

A total of 98 Rohingya migrants, believed to have been smuggled into the country by a human-trafficking ring, were arrested at a checkpoint in Hua Sai district of Nakhon Si Thammarat province early on Sunday, according to Manager Online. 

Pol Capt Somporn Thongcheen, deputy suppression chief of Hua Sai district, said police set up the checkpoint on the Nakhon Si Thammarat-Songkhla road at Village Group 2 in tambon Sai Khao after obtaining information that a number of illegal migrants would be sent through Hua Sai district, heading for Songkhla.

At about 4am, a convoy of vehicles was spotted moving along the road toward the checkpoint. Officers were able to stop five of them, but the rest managed to escaped. The vehicles were three four-door pickup trucks, one pickup truck modified as a van, and a Toyota Fortuner.

The drivers of three vehicles fled the scene. Only two drivers were arrested. They were identified as Sawat Phadungchart, 29, of Ranong's Suksamran district, and Suthipong Chuaypat, 49, of Surat Thani's Chaiya district.

The 98 Rohingya migrants were found crammed in the five vehicles. One of them, a woman, died, probably because she had been squashed tight in a vehicle for a long time. All of the others appeared exhausted.

The Rohingya were taken to Hua Sai district police station for examination and official recording. They were then taken in small groups to Hua Sai Hospital for treatment as all had been crammed into the vehicles without food for two days.

Under initial questioning, the two drivers said they had picked up the Rohingya from a coastal area of Phangnga and were taking them to Songkhla.

Churin Khwanthong, chief of the social development and human security office of Nakhon Si Thammarat, assigned officials to interview each of the Rohingya migrants through interpreters to find out if they were victims of a human-trafficking movement.

Many local Muslim people, on learning of the arrest of the Rohingya, came to the police station to give them food and clothing. 

The dead Rohingya woman was buried by workers of the Pracha Ruamjai Foundation.


    Rohingya dies in crammed pickup truck

    Source Bangkokpost, 12 Jan

     

    Rohingya migrants wait to be questioned at Hua Sai police station in Nakhon Si Thammarat after they were arrested early yesterday. Nucharee Rakrun.

    She was among 98 Rohingya migrants believed to have been smuggled into the country by a human-trafficking ring. They were arrested at a checkpoint in Hua Sai district of Nakhon Si Thammarat province early... 

    The dead woman was buried by workers from the Pracha Ruamjai Foundation.

    Pol Capt Somporn Thongcheen, deputy inspector in charge of crime suppression at Hua Sai poli ce station, said the 98 migrants were found crammed into five vehicles.

    He said the woman most likely suffocated and the others appeared exhausted.
    Pol Capt Somporn said Hua Sai police set up the checkpoint on the Nakhon Si Thammarat-Songkhla road at Village Group 2 in tambon Sai Khao after obtaining information that a number of illegal migrants would pass through the district on their way to Songkhla.

    About 4am yesterday, a convoy of vehicles was spotted heading towards the checkpoint.
    Officers were able to stop five of the vehicles, but the rest escaped.

    There were three four-door pickups, one pickup modified as a van and a Toyota Fortuner.

    The drivers of three vehicles fled the scene and the other two were arrested. They were identified as Sawat Phadungchart, 29, of Ranong's Suksamran district, and Suthipong Chuaypat, 49, of Surat Thani's Chaiya district.

    The migrants found in the five vehicles were later taken to Hua Sai police station.

    They were then taken in small groups to Hua Sai Hospital for treatment. All had been travelling without food for two days, Pol Capt Somporn said.

    The two drivers said they had picked the Rohingya up from a coastal area of Phangnga and were taking them to Songkhla.
    Human trafficking rings have changed their routes from Andaman coastal provinces to provinces along the Gulf of Thailand to avoid strict suppression there, Pol Capt Somporn said.

    Churin Khwanthong, chief of the social development and human security office of Nakhon Si Thammarat, said he assigned officials to interview each migrant through interpreters to find out if they had been victims of a human-trafficking movement.

    If they were victims of human trafficking rings, authorities would find ways to deport them back to their country of origin, Mr Churin said.

    Many local Muslims came to the police station to give food and clothing to the Rohingya after learning of their arrest.

    Rohingya have fled their homes in Rakhine state in Myanmar via Thailand to Malaysia in increasing numbers recently. 

     

    Thursday, 8 January 2015

    Thai govt negotiating with third countries for Rohingya resettlements

    Source Nationalmultimedia, 7 Jan

    Undocumented Rohingya Muslim immigrants gather at the Immigration Detention Center during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in Kanchanaburi province,  Thailand on July 10, 2013.© 2013 Reuters

    Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Yutthawong said Wednesday that the government has been negotiating with foreign governments for resettlements of Rohingya people who have been arrested and detained in Thailand.

    But Yongyuth declined to give details of the third countries. He added that the Thai government does not want to deport theRohingya for fear that they would be in danger.

    Wednesday, 7 January 2015

    'Stopping the boats' a fiction as Australia grows ever more isolationist on asylum Ben Doherty

    Source theguardian, 31 Dec 2014

    'Have the boats stopped reaching Australia?' is the wrong question to ask. A better one by which to judge the success of its policies is this: are more people safer? Or fewer?The boats have not stopped. They have stopped reaching Australia but people are still drowning in seas in our region and across the world.

    More than 350,000 asylum seekers boarded boats in 2014, the UN has found, leaving their homeland to seek protection somewhere else. Of those, 54,000 people boarded a boat in south-east Asia – Australia's "neighbourhood", in the words of the foreign minister.

    At least 540 people died on boat journeys in that neighbourhood – starved, dehydrated or beaten to a death by a crew member and thrown overboard – or drowned when their unseaworthy vessel sank.

    The great majority of those travelling in Australia's region were Rohingya, a persecuted ethnic minority from Burma, who are brutalised by their own government, denied any rights to citizenship, to education, banned from having more than two children and from work in certain industries. Regularly, Rohingyavillages are torched and their occupants forced into remote tarpaulin camps, where malnutrition and disease are rife.

    Australia has signed an agreement with Burma with the aim of "boosting Myanmar's immigration and border control" – essentially to prevent Rohingya from leaving.

    In 2014 Australia stopped 441 asylum seekers in 10 vessels, the UN says, forcing them back to the countries they last departed.

    The government regards these figures as evidence its policies are working. Thanks to boat turnbacks, offshore processing and regional resettlement, the argument goes, boats are no longer able to reach Australia. The people smugglers no longer have a product to sell: the "sugar is off the table".

    But that view fails to look over the horizon. It ignores – because Australia knows they are there – all the unseaworthy boats, and their desperate passengers, still looking for a safe port to land or dying in the seas to our north.

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    Even allowing (almost certainly over-generously) that several times that figure of 441 were deterred from trying to come to Australia, this country's boat arrivals remain a tiny fraction of the world's figure.

    The number of people in our region still boarding boats bound for somewhere else is demonstration of the irrelevancy of the "stopping the boats" shibboleth. It is not a statement of policy, it is a tool of political rhetoric.

    "Have the boats stopped reaching Australia?" is the wrong question to ask. A better question by which to judge the success of Australia's asylum policies is this: are more people safer? Or fewer?

    Has the sum of protection for people who need it – against sectarian violence, against ethnic discrimination or political oppression, against arbitrary detention in a transit or destination country – increased as a result of Australian policies?

    The answer is no. There is less protection in the world for people who need it as a result of Australia's policies.

    Australia voluntarily ratified (in fact helped draft) the UN refugee convention. It willingly accepted the treaty's obligation to offer protection to those who need it. But Australia's policies now consistently place it in breach of that convention.

    In announcing the Burma partnership, the then immigration minister, Scott Morrison, proclaimed: "Assisting our regional partners in building stronger, more effective borders is a priority of the Coalition government."

    But Australia is neglecting this obligation. Australia's regional neighbours, its "partners" in addressing the asylum issue, are more overwhelmed than ever.

    Malaysia has 41,000 registered "persons of concern" and thousands more unknown. Australia and Indonesia are locked in a long-running spat over boat towbacks and Australia has announced it will not resettle any more refugees from Indonesia.

    It is, instead, looking to move refugees with claims for protection in Australia to third countries: Papua New Guinea, Nauru and Cambodia. Australia's concern, it seems, ends at the edge of its territorial waters.

    Two year-end speeches have highlighted the growing divergence between Australia and the rest of the world on the issue of asylum.

    In Geneva, the UN high commissioner for refugees, António Guterres, urged countries to work more cooperatively to address the issue of irregular migration. He said dealing with the number of displaced people could never be as simple as stopping boats and shutting borders.

    "Focusing only on border control and deterrence will not solve the problem," he said. "It is the duty of any government to ensure security and to manage immigration but these policies must be designed in a way that human lives do not end up becoming collateral damage … an exclusive focus on security and targeting criminal activity only risks making these journeys even more dangerous."

    Australia has a different attitude – a different world view – on asylum. In a speech barely reported (it was given the same day as the government's temporary protection legislation was being debated by the Senate), the head of the immigration department, Michael Pezzullo, said border protection, along with military power and diplomacy, formed the "trinity of state power" essential to any country's existence.

    While recognising it was "beyond the capacity of any one country … to tackle the global problem of refugee flows and numbers", he emphasised that Australia must, alone, "control our maritime approaches".

    "The ocean around us is the crown jewel of our border protection system, and we must do everything reasonable within law, resources and government policy to ensure that this remains the case."

    Given the long-running antagonism with Australia's most significant neighbour over boat towbacks, the actions of his department reinforce this emphasis on the unilateral over the cooperative.

    Pezzullo's speech was largely a dissertation on the continued primacy of sovereignty even in an increasingly interconnected, globalised world. It also made broader allusion to the new secretary's view of the role of immigration in Australia's development, and the country's future population. He suggested Australia had enough people.

    "When we transition from our current state to the new department next year, and commence on the path of the next phase of our journey, we should take a moment to reflect on what has been achieved since 1945. I contend that we will be able to declare the original mission of 1945 – to build the population base – to have been accomplished."

    It is a significant departure from the tone of his long-serving predecessor, Andrew Metcalfe, who urged a continued drive to populate Australia. "Our job as a department is to help build our modern Australian nation ... we have been extremely well-served by our migration programs," he said. "Economically, our migration program has been, and continues to be, a backbone to many of our industries. People migrate to succeed, not to fail."

    Ordered migration and seeking asylum are separate issues, and should not be conflated, but Australia cannot fail to recognise more people are moving now than at almost any time in history. There are more displaced people in the world –51.2 million – than at any time since the second world war: continued conflict, discordant economic opportunities, climate change – all will force more people to move, and more often.

    As the world urges closer cooperation on the issue of mass and irregular migrations, Australia grows ever more isolationist. Moving the problem over the horizon is not the same as addressing it. The boats have not stopped.



    50 Rohingya held after chase in Phang Nga, smugglers escape

    Source nationalmultimedia, 6 Jan

    More than 50 migrants, mostly Rohingya Muslims, were apprehended after a pursuit yesterday in Thailand's southern province of Phang Nga when smugglers attempting to transport them in three pick-up trucks were intercepted by civilian authorities.

    The group, six of whom are children, have been detained by police pending charges of illegal entry and repatriation, Manit Phianthong, chief of Takua Pa district, said. 

    Manit led a stakeout that intercepted the three vehicles and later pursued two of the cars, which sought initially to get away.

    Manit said they had received tip-offs from residents that illegal migrants were on their way to Malaysia, after being smuggled into Thailand via Ranong. A stakeout was set up on Sunday evening and they spotted the three cars at 3:30am. The three drivers managed to escape in the darkness, after one hit a power pole and two others headed into palm plantations and got stuck.

    Of the 53 people held, 37 are believed to be from the Rohingya minority, with the remainder from Bangladesh - a source of increasing numbers of migrants arriving on Thai shores.

    Twenty-one of the group are aged under 18 and some are as young as five, according to the chief of Takua Pa district in Phang Nga province.

    "The group were from Myanmar and Bangladesh," Manit said. "They arrived on boats and were taken in three trucks into Takua Pa before dawn on Monday" for transit through to Malaysia.

    "We had already set up checkpoints as we had information they would come," he added, explaining the trucks were forced onto a side road where the drivers fled, leaving the migrants behind.

    The migrants have been taken to be interviewed by social workers to determine if they are victims of trafficking.

    "If they are found to be victims, they will be witnesses in a human trafficking case and will be put in shelters... but if not, they will be charged with illegal entry," Manit said. 

    Thousands of Rohingya - a Muslim minority group not recognised as citizens in Myanmar - have fled deadly communal unrest in Myanmar's Rakhine state since 2012. Most have headed for mainly Muslim Malaysia.

    Myanmar views its population of roughly 800,000 Rohingya - described by the United Nations as one of the world's most persecuted minorities - as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and denies them citizenship.

    Rights groups say the stateless migrants often fall into the hands of people-traffickers.

    They have also criticised Thailand in the past for pushing boatloads of Rohingya entering Thai waters back out to sea and for holding migrants in overcrowded facilities.

    Thailand said last year it was investigating allegations that some army officials in the kingdom were involved in the trafficking of Rohingya.

    Tuesday, 6 January 2015

    Starving Rohingya Escapees From Kyauktaw Imprisoned To The Long Term Jail

    Source RB, 2 Jan

    Buthidaung, Arakan – Eleven Rohingyas who were starving had escaped from the Kyauktaw Township. They were arrested and imprisoned to the long term jail, according to a local in Buthidaung Township of Arakan State.

    As the Rohingyas in Kyauktaw Township of Arakan State have no job opportunities, no access to medication and unable to move around in their town, eleven starving Rohingyas were in search of better a living situation and job opportunities. They left their town of Kyauktaw and travelled to Buthidaung Township, passing through various hills for four days. They got arrested on November 25, 2014 in Kin Taung village in Buthidaung Township before reaching their destination. 

    The arrestees were sued by the authorities in the name of violating movement restrictions. Among the eleven Rohingyas, nine were sentenced for five years with hard labour and the remaining two were sentenced for two years with hard labour on January 1, 2015.

    Among the arrestees, 80 year-old religious cleric Noor Bashar and 78 year-old Noor Mohammed were also included. None of them have any rights to hire a lawyer.

    The local said that the Judge at Buthidaung court is completely racist, an extremist and biased. He has been punishing Rohingyas based on his racism, not based on the law. Therefore this punishment is unjust and the higher authorities from the union government must scrutinize this judgment.

    50 Rohingya held as traffickers flee

    Source Bangkokpost, 5 Jan


    Rohingya migrants sit on a police van in southern Thailand. Pic: AP.


    Fifty Rohingya Muslims were detained the Thai traffickers who allegedly smuggled them through Thailand escaped after one of their vehicles slammed into a power pole in Phangnga province early Monday. 

    Some 30 officials and volunteers led by Takua Pa district chief Manit Pianthong  had been on guard in Takua Pa district since Sunday night following a tip that a human-trafficking gang would traverse the area to smuggle illegal Rohingya migrants en route to Malaysia. The officials hid in a roadside rubber plantation, in Bangkrak Nai village in tambon Khok Kian awaiting their arrival, Manager Online reported Monday.

    At about 3.30am, a pickup truck with a Bangkok license plate came through the area, prompting the officers and volunteers to stop the vehicle for a search. But the driver sped past and hit two vehicles parked nearby. Even then, however, the driver did not stop. Still attempting to escape, he slammed into a roadside power pole.  He managed to flee before officials could apprehend him, abandoning the damaged truck and 16 Royingya inside.

    Two other pickups also sped past before the drivers fled into a palm-tree plantation, leaving their vehicles and migrants on the road.

    A total of 50 Rohingya were rounded up. The migrants, including six children, had been smuggled from neighbouring Ranong province. Authorities have stepped up a hunt for the three drivers, who were Thais.

    Saturday, 27 December 2014

    Democracy in Myanmar and the Plight of the Rohingyas

    Source Kashmirwatch, 24 Dec



    Written by: Prof. Anna Malindog

    /Andrew Stanbridge/Al Jazeera

    One of the first and largest IDP camps outside of Sittwe, Myanmar, where the first wave of Rohingyans fled when Buddhist mobs began to attack their villages, burning homes to the ground.

    "I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die"
    -Nelson Mandela-

    "To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity"
    -Nelson Mandela-

    Myanmar is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia, lying strategically between India, China, Bangladesh, Laos and Thailand. In the 19th century, the British took over Burma and formed a single entity under the Indian colonial administration. The Japanese occupied Burma during the 2nd World War but were driven out by the British Empire Forces as the war drew to an end. In view of the strong Burmese nationalism headed by Aung San (Burmese National Hero), British granted Burma independence in 1948. Burma after independence faced communist insurgencies. The government afterwards found itself facing an increasing number of armed ethnic based conflict resistance groups all over the country most of which were seeking their own independence even until this very day.

    In 1962, General Ne Win, the head of the Burmese Army, - the "Tatmadaw" overthrew the civilian government and established a military rule. Since then the military junta became the de-facto government of Myanmar. This led to many insurgencies, human rights abuses and atrocities, economic crisis, massive street demonstrations and rallies which killed thousands of people. Many also fled to areas controlled by ethnic and communist armed groups to form their own political rebel groups. 

    Then came November 2010, when the first ever general election in Myanmar happened after more than two decades, or to be more precise, after 22 years since the last general election in 1990. Then March 2011 happened when the ruling military government that ruled Myanmar for almost five decades since 1962 was not only dismantled, but more importantly, the generals in Yangon relinquished power to the newly elected and formed "civilian government" headed by President Thein Sein. Undeniably, these two historic political events marked Myanmar's transition towards democracy and democratization. These events also generated mixed and varied emotions and thoughts among the different stakeholders of Myanmar. For some people, what is currently happening in Myanmar is quite bizarre. Others are simply happy about the prospects of democracy taking a foothold in the country. Others are very skeptical and cynical. But there are also some who are hopeful that, indeed, this path, this transition towards democracy will continue and will persist until Myanmar becomes fully democratic. 

    Moreover, cynicism and skepticisms among many observers loom around this new political trajectory that Myanmar is pursuing. For one, the military is still and remains still the "arbiter of power" in the country. The military occupies and governs still all the important state institutions created after the November 2010 Elections. The military directly controls a quarter of the legislatures, which were filled with lower-ranking officers, ensuring that the military bloc remains cohesive and compliant with the wishes of the military superiors. With the provision of a quorum of 75% necessary to change the Constitution, the military effectively has a veto power over constitutional changes, since it occupies more than 75% of all the seats both at the lower and upper house of the Parliament. The new National Defense and Security Council is the most powerful institution and this is controlled by the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. In terms of civil–military relations, the military remains fully autonomous subject to neither executive nor judicial civilian authorities. Furthermore, the issue about the on-going conflict between the Burmese army and the ethnic-based armed groups remains crucial and unresolved. To add, this current "civilian government" in Myanmar needs still to fashion a politically inclusive process of national reconciliation with the involvement of all possible actors such as, the National League for Democracy, the military, and the ethnic nationalities among others if it wants to confidently sustain the democratization process that is said to be taking place nowadays in the country. 

    Moreover, the already skeptical and cynical perception of many international observers about the real score if indeed Myanmar is serious in its quest towards democratic transition once again was challenged by recent events in Myanmar. The cynicisms and skepticisms of people whether Myanmar is serious and genuine in pursuing democracy grew more due to the worst ever humanitarian disaster on the planet that happened just in the recent past, and that's the enormous "genocidal vehemence" against the "Rohingyas". These apartheid atrocities against the "Rohingyas" already claimed thousands of lives of ethnic-civilian "Rohingyas". It is being estimated that around 1.3 million "Rohingyas" from Myanmar's Western Arakan/Rakhine region have been uprooted since June 2012. "Rohingyas" are victims of intermittent religious violence, killings, internal displacements, and most of them ended up in filthy camps for internally displaced peoples in countries like Thailand, Bangladesh, and Malaysia to mention the least. In these countries, "Rohingyas" are seen as illegal migrants and they writhe from stern discriminations, hefty restraints on marriage, religious activities, health, and educational opportunities. In extreme cases, they are not even permitted to identify themselves as "Rohingyas", and are forced to ascertain themselves as "Bengalis"

    "Rohingyas" are a minority ethnic group who practice Islam. They speak "Rohingya", an Indo-European language of the Easter Indic branch, closely related to "Chittagonian" of Bangladesh, and more distantly to Bengali. The UN ascertained that these people are one the most discriminated and persecuted minority groups so to speak of this day and age. Their sojourn in Myanmar is disputed. 

    Some claim that they are to some extent indigenous inhabitants of Rakhine/Arakan state given that they settled in this part of Myanmar for thousands of years already. But many Burmese, most especially the Buddhist Rakhines are challenging this claim. They are saying that "Rohingyas" are originally from Bengal (Bangladesh) and therefore are "Bengalis". Accordingly, "Rohingyas" migrated to Myanmar during the British rule. Thus, they are not indigenous to Myanmar and are categorically being labelled as illegal migrants. 

    Sadly, the perpetrators of this "genocidal infringement" against the "Rohingyas" are said to be government-sponsored "state security forces", and the "Rakhine Buddhist extremist militias". Just this year (2014), the so-called "civilian government" of Myanmar disqualified "Rohingyas" from participating in the census. The same government according to reports just last September also drafted a plan conscripting "Rohingyas" to identify themselves as "Bengalis". In any case, "Rohingyas" remain stateless and many of them are unfortunately forced to stay in detention camps, ghettos, are internally displaced, and worst of all, those who fled from Myanmar to take refuge in other countries like Thailand, Bangladesh, and Malaysia suffer from severe discriminations, and are way too far being treated as lesser mortals. The plight of these people is indeed somewhat bleak and precarious. 

    Many have observed and even the Burmese people in general alleged that the root cause behind all the atrocities against the "Rohingyas" are far more complex and has historical underpinnings. Nonetheless, whatever the root cause of these persecutions and discriminations against the "Rohingyas", one thing is clear, a government that claims to pursue a democratic path, and in this case the current "civilian government" in Myanmar, must not turn a blind eye to the quandary of these people. One of the basic tenets of democracy is the recognition and respects of the basic rights and existence of people including minority/indigenous groups like the "Rohingyas" regardless of their creed, religion, color or race. Recognition and respect are not always or not necessarily and directly denote political recognition if the situation does not seem right yet given the volatile political landscape of the country. However, at the barest minimum, recognition and respect of the basic rights of peoples, and in this case the "Rohingyas" can mean accepting that indeed these people exist, that they are human beings, and that they need to be respected and treated accordingly and humanely.

    If indeed, the so-called "civilian government" in Myanmar that claims to be crisscrossing the pathway towards democracy is serious in its democratic pursuits, then by all means, they should resolve and do whatever is necessary to put an end to the atrocities, discriminations, and persecutions accorded to "Rohingyas". This same government in Myanmar, if it truly wants to pursue a democratic path where recognition and respect for the fundamental freedoms of human beings flourish, must extend to the "Rohingyas" the rights to self-identification and citizenship. Only through this democratic act, to a greater extent, one can ascertain that indeed Myanmar is truly in its path towards a genuine democracy. 

    Anna Malindog is the human rights advocate. She is also an academic. You may get in touch with her througharmalindog@mail.com

    Wednesday, 24 December 2014

    Indonesian officials seek desert island for refugees

    Source ustoday, 22 Dec

    AP MYANMAR ROHINGYA TRAFFICKING I MYN
    A boy wades through the water carrying a basket of fish at the Chaung refugee camp, on the outskirts of Sittwe, Burma.(Photo: Kaung Htet, AP)

    JAKARTA — Senior Indonesian officials say they are looking for an island to accommodate some 10,000 asylum seekers and refugees waiting for resettlement in the country, as they have become a "burden."

    Asylum seekers flock to Indonesia from the Middle East, Asia and Africa, hoping to reach Australia. But Indonesia's southern neighbor has recently announced that all refugees registered at the Jakarta office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from July 2014 will now automatically be banned from resettlement in Australia.

    Australia's immigration minister Scott Morrison compares the ban to "taking the sugar off the table," and says it's in Indonesia's interest. "We're trying to stop people thinking they can go to Indonesia and wait around till they get to Australia," he told Australia's ABC Radio in late November. "This is designed to stop people flowing into Indonesia. It will help Indonesia."

    But Indonesian authorities don't see it that way. "It's Australia's right, but it's creating a burden for us," said Indonesia's Justice and Human Rights minister Yasonna Laoly on Australia's ABC News. "There are 10,000 foreign citizens, which becomes a burden for us."

    As a signatory to the United Nations' Refugee Convention, Australia is bound by international law to protect refugees. Indonesia has not signed the treaty.

    Several high-ranking Indonesian officials have reportedly suggested to president Joko Widodo that these refugees should be moved to one of Indonesia's 17,000 islands.

    "If the Australian government cannot handle them, we suggest placing them on an empty island, so they don't disturb the public," Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno told local media in late November.

    It's not the first time this option has been put on the table.

    In the early 1980s, hundreds of thousands of Indochinese refugees were placed on Galang Island, in the northwest of Indonesia. In 2013, a plan to forcibly resettle refugees on the impoverished and isolated Sumba Island, in the eastern part of the archipelago, was finally abandoned.

    "Now we have started thinking again about this policy," Laoly told The Australian. "We only need to find the island."

    While Indonesian officials have suggested UNHCR could be involved in handling the refugees' cost of living, the agency's Indonesian representative Thomas Vargas told GlobalPost he hasn't been contacted on the matter. He did not want to comment on this specific proposal, but said UNHCR would "certainly not encourage" this kind of option. Placing refugees and asylum seekers on an island "is probably the costliest and the most ineffective way" to deal with the situation, he said.

    New asylum seekers arrive in Indonesia every week. Many sleep on the pavement, in front of the UNHCR gates in Jakarta. Tolosa, an 18-year-old Ethiopian, says he made it to Indonesia just two months ago, before Australia announced its new policy. But he says he would have come anyway. Like many here, he says he has nowhere else to go. Tolosa was hoping to get to Australia, but he's happy to be resettled anywhere.

    Actually, even the idea of an empty Indonesian island doesn't seem to bother him much. "If I go back to my country I might die, so I'm OK with staying on an island," he said. Other asylum seekers agree. Faisal, a 23-year-old Somalian who calls Australia's policy "inhumane" and "cruel," says even an empty and isolated island "is better than going back home and dying there."

    Ahmad, 18, is from Pakistan. He registered in UNHCR's office in Jakarta more than a year ago, and hopes he will still get to resettle in Australia. He worries though, as Australia has announced it will also reduce the quotas of resettlement for refugees who registered before July 2014. Soon, Ahmad won't have any money left. He says he might present himself to one of Indonesia's overcrowded and run-down detention centers. "Many people try to get into detention centers, even if it's like prison, because they don't have money," he says.

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's anti-immigration "Operation Sovereign Borders" was launched shortly after he took office in late 2013, and has created tensions with Jakarta. Indonesian authorities haven't been happy with Australia towing back boats of migrants en route to Australia toward Indonesian waters.

    Thomas Vargas says Australia, one of the only signatories of the Refugee Convention in the region, should set the example. But Australia's current policies, he says, are "certainly not in the spirit of the Refugee Convention, and not in the spirit of regional cooperation."

    "Unilateral action by states is not going to work," he says, calling for all affected countries to work together on a solution that meets the protection needs of refugees and asylum seekers.

    Arakans sentenced to hard labor for refusing Myanmar census

    Source worldbulletin, 20 Dec

    Arakans sentenced to hard labor for refusing Myanmar census

    file photo 

    Many Rohingya have previously refused to register as "Bengalis" because they say the term implies they are illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.

    World Bulletin/News Desk

    Eight Arakan Muslims (Rohingya) from Northern Maungdaw Township in Arakan State were sentenced to two years for refusing to participate in census conducted by Myanmar Border Guard Police, Rohingya Blogger reported.

    Myanmar's national government gave around a million members of the persecuted Arakan Muslims a bleak choice: accept ethnic reclassification and the prospect of citizenship, or be detained.

    On August 1st, 2014 the Border Guard Police conducted a census in the name to register Arakans as illegal Bengali immigrants. As the census referred to Arakan Muslims as illegal Bengali immigrants the villagers refused to participate. Although the whole village refused, nine were targeted and arrested, according to the report. One of them was released on that day and eight were tried and sentenced to two years prison with hard labor.

    The court decision was made on December 2, 2014 at Maungdaw Township court, according to locals. They were tried under Burma panel code 353 which is assaulting a public servant during the time they are on duty. The arrestees didn't convince anyone in the village to refuse participation in the census nor organized any event to deny the unofficial census conducted by BGP. They simply stayed at home not willing to participate if the term 'Rohingya' is forbidden. The authorities targeted against them for the term "Rohingya" and they were punished unjustly.

    During the hearing at the court, the families were not allowed to attend and the arrestees were not allowed to hire a lawyer.

    Ages of the eight Arakan Muslims who were imprisonment for two years with hard labour are ranges from 17 to 50.

    Most of Myanmar's 1.1 million Arakan Muslims already live in apartheid-like conditions in western Rakhine, where deadly clashes with ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in 2012 displaced 140,000 people, mostly Rohingya.

    The government plan proposes Rakhine authorities "construct temporary camps in required numbers for those who refuse to be registered and those without adequate documents".

    Many Rohingya lost documents in the widespread violence, or have previously refused to register as "Bengalis", as required by the government under the new plan, because they say the term implies they are illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.

    Rights advocates say it could potentially put thousands of Rohingya, including those living in long-settled villages, at risk of indefinite detention.

    The government will offer citizenship for those that accept the classification and have required documentation.

    Many Arakan families have lived in Rakhine for generations. They are stateless because the government does not recognise the existence of the Rohingya ethnicity, and has to date refused to grant the majority of them citizenship.

    Accepting the term Bengali could leave the Rohingya vulnerable should authorities in future attempt to send them to Bangladesh as illegal immigrants.

    Pickup truck crash injures 19 Rohingya

    Source Bangkokpost, 21 Dec

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    "Pickup truck crash in Talleyville, Delaware" title="1 injured after pickup trucks crash head-on">
    Pickup truck crash in Talleyville, Delaware

    PHATTHALUNG — Nineteen Rohingya migrants were injured, 11 of them seriously, after a pickup truck veered off a slippery road in Khao Chaison district on Sunday morning. 

    The group, reportedly including a few children, were going from Ranong to the Padang Besar border checkpoint in Songkhla province when the accident took place on a local road in Moo 1 village in tambon Koke Muang at 8am. It was raining at the time. 

    Police said the unidentified Thai driver failed to negotiate a curve in the wet conditions. He lost control of the vehicle, causing it to crash into a roadside ditch and overturn.  

    The driver fled the scene, leaving the injured Rohingya behind and unattended. They were later taken to Tamod and Khao Chai hospitals.  

    Speaking through an interpreter, a Rohingya migrant told police the group had left Myanmar by boat for Thailand. They stayed overnight in a forest behind a military camp in Ranong province before setting out on their journey to the Padang Besar checkpointearly Sunday. They were supposed to travel to Malaysia from there. The Rohingya migrant said each of them paid a Thai middle man 60,000 baht.  
       
    Chaison district police chief Pol Col Pon Wanna said police are now investigating the Myanmar minority Rohingya and trying to track down the driver who is believed to be a member of a human trafficking gang.

    Sunday, 21 December 2014

    A Controversial Report of "Burma and Bangladesh: A Strategy to Combat Statelessness"

    By admin,

    A new report written on 14 Dec 2014, came out here. 

    "Burma and Bangladesh: A Strategy to Combat Statelessness"


    How controversial is- 
    Despite the report calls to solve the crisis strategically, it undermines the primary existence of the people through wisely labelling as recent settlers from the waves of Bangladeshi migrations..

    The writer itself viewing 'sympathizer' and much eager to bring the solution over the problems. In deed, the hidden fact is that the writer smartly and wrongfully proving  these vulnerable people as late settlers by crediting on the doggy documents of the dictators and other oppressive operations/processes which were forcefully exercised during 1978-King Dragon Operation, 1990-Pyi Taryar Operations..

    Specially in these parts from-
    "The Rohingyas are mainly the descendants of Bengali/Chittagonian labour migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh who had settled in Arakan after the 1824 British annexation of that province. After Burma gained her independence from Britain in 1948, an unknown number of settlers from the Chittagong area continued to enter as migrants."
    "Those 800,000 stateless Rohingya/Bengali are often referred to as Temporary Registration Card (TRC) or White Card holders. This group of stateless people were recorded in the 1983 Burma Census as foreigners. There are indications that the 1973 Burmese Census has registered this same group as foreigners. It would appear that the Burmese immigration begun issuing Temporary Registration Cards (TRC) to this group of foreigners since 1950s. After 1995, with the returning of 230,000 Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh and at the requests of UNHCR, the Government uniformly issued the TRCs to all those 800,000 stateless people within Arakan State."

    This is how the educated one's double dealing and instigation of all parties in order to keep the crisis alive. So, no Burmese, nor government will take initiation to issue citizenship to people who are being indicated as "late arrivals".

    The writer doesn't understand the plights of Rohingya at all or intentionally undermine the several waves of violences that have been conducted on Rohingya during 1942, 1949, 1958-60, 1967-68, 1978, 1990-92 and the crisis of " 1784-1824- The 40 year Burmese tyrannical rule of Arakan".

    The such over-championing reports should not be re-credited..

    Saturday, 20 December 2014

    Turkish aid agency sends aid to Rohyinga muslims

    Source worldbulletin, 17 Dec


    Turkish aid agency sends aid to Rohyinga muslims

    file photo

    The Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency has distributed food, clothing, and stationary to the people of Myanmar in Arakan state.

    World Bulletin/News Desk

    The Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency has distributed food, clothing, and stationary to the people of Myanmar in Arakan state.

    Along with AFAD (Turkish State Emergency Services), distributed food, clothing, stationary to the Rohyinga muslims of Arakan state – 600,000 people have benefitted from the distriubtion that took place in the Yangon area, with two separate shipments of 600,000 tons to the capital Sitwe.

    The Rohyinga Muslims live 20km away from the capital city where they are in 10 different towns and districts. The organisation of the distribution was done jointly with TIKA and local ngo's.

    In the press statement, it was explained that many were in camps and faced difficult condition with nearly 300,000 were close to starvation and the local organisations thanked TIKA and AFAD.

    At the same time, the Myanmar United Nations Food programme had reduced their limit and as a result many Muslims in Rohynga are starving.

    The Muslims who live near in the camps and villages expressed their gratitude for the people of Turkey for helping them in their difficult time.


    32 Rohingyas Arrested And Tortured By Arakan Army, To Be Sold as Slaves In Thailand

    Source RB news, 15 Dec

    Maungdaw, Arakan – 32 Rohingyas working in four fishing boats owned by a Rakhine businessman from Aley Than Kyaw village tract of Southern Maungdaw Township in Arakan State were arrested and tortured by Rakhine Militia, Arakan Army. They will be sold in Thailand according who escaped. 

    On Saturday night, December 13, 2014, four fishing boats owned by Than Htay (a.k.a) Maung Saw Tin from Aley Than Kyaw village tract of Southern Maungdaw Township, carrying 40 Rohingyas fishermen who were fishing at sea. The Arakan Army came by Thai boat which is commonly used for human trafficking and terrorizing the fishermen while they are fishing. 

    Among 40 fishermen, 8 could manage to escape from the brutal attacks and torture of Arakan Army on their fishing boats. The remaining 32 were tortured on their boats and later they were detained and taken onto the boat of Arakan Army. 

    On the Thai boat operated by the Arakan Army approximately 200 Rohingyas were carried. Normally such boat carried 600 but as the Rohingyas in Northern Arakan were alerted of the risk to be victims of human trafficking, the human trafficking led by Arakan Army received less than they expected, picking up the fishermen from the sea and torturing them. Their intention is to sell all these Rohingyas as slaves in Thailand, according to 8 survivors. 

    The four fishing boats remain in the location they were left at and blood stains remain on the boats as 32 Rohingyas were brutally tortured and terrorized before they were taken to Thai boat by Arakan Army men, according to a local. 

    Although three ships from Myanmar Navy at the Naf river saw that the Rohingyas on the fishing boats were being tortured by the Arakan Army they ignored the crimes and didn't rescue them because they were Rohingyas. 

    As many tactics have been used by Myanmar government to cleanse the Rohingya minority from Myanmar, sometime the local authorities collaborate with Rakhine rebels to attack the Rohingyas, the authorities themselves bring the ships from Thailand and organizing the local Rohingyas to go to Thailand and Malaysia, and arresting the innocent Rohingyas in Northern Arakan so they will leave from the country.

    Sunday, 14 December 2014

    A Briefing by Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK : The Humanitarian Crisis of Rohingya in Rakhine State

    Source BROUK, 12 Dec

    Recent violence against the Rohingya

    In June and October 2012 there were large scale violent attacks against the ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine State. Ethnic Kaman Muslims were also targeted. In addition there were widespread and numerous other incidents of violence, intimidation and harassment against the Rohingya. 


    International organisations which investigated this violence, including Human Rights Watch, gathered evidence that the attacks met the international legal definition of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

    Humanitarian consequences of recent violence

    Estimates of those killed in the violence range from several hundred to more than a thousand. The UNHCR has said that in the two years since the violence began more than 80,000 Rohingya have fled Burma by boat. Around 140,000 Rohingyawho were forced to flee their homes now live in temporary camps where humanitarian access is severely restricted as a result of Burmese government policies and the failure of thegovernment to ensure a secure environment for delivery of aid.

    Context of the humanitarian crisis

    While the appalling conditions of the Rohingya in camps in Rakhine State since 2012 has received international attention, the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State is not new. Since the 1960s governments in Burma have gradually introduced laws and policies designed to repress and impoverish the Rohingya, and drive them out of Burma. Increasing poverty and blocking economic development of the Rohingya is a deliberate and integral part of the Burmese governmentsRohingya policy. Since the reform process began under President Thein Sein in 2011, the application

     

    Recommendations

    • United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon should personally take the lead in negotiating free and unhindered international humanitarian access in Rakhine State. Individual governments should encourage Ban Ki-moon to take up this issue and give high-level support to his efforts. 

    • Governments need to make it clear that futurepositive diplomatic relations are contingent on unhindered humanitarian access, reform of the 1982 Citizenship Law, and abolishment of discriminatory policies and practices against the Rohingya.

     
    • Diplomats and UN ofcials should use the word "Rohingya" both in public and private. By avoiding the term, they legitimise the Burmese government's ongoing discrimination and campaign to portray the Rohingya as illegal immigrants.

     
    • The humanitarian crisis for the Rohingya in Burma is part of a systematic policy of impoverishment of the Rohingya. These policies may constitute crimes against humanity, and have helped lead to ethnic cleansing. The international community should support the establishment of an independent international investigation into possible violations of international law against the Rohingya in Burma.

     
    • Robust and specic language on the Rohingya mustbe included in the next United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Burma. This should include use of the word "Rohingya," demand unhindered humanitarian access, reform of the 1982 Citizenship Law and lifting of alldiscriminatory policies, and establish a UN Commission of Inquiry into possible violations of international law against the Rohingya in Burma.

     


    of these policies has been stepped up, leading to a serious deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation in Rakhine State.

    Buddhist nationalists led Burma's struggle for independence and this nationalism is central to politics in Burma today. In 1961 Buddhism was declared the state religion. Following this declaration a series of laws and policies were introduced designed to repress and impoverish Muslim ethnic Rohingya. These include the notorious 1982 Citizenship Law, which effectively denies citizenship to the Rohingya, and the 1988 banning of Rohingya from travelling outside Rakhine State. 

    Other policies and laws introduced include restrictions on Rohingya travelling from some townships to others, and even within some townships, checkpoints on roads targeting only Rohingya which include body searches and extortion of money, restrictions on marriage through a tax fee requirement, arbitrary taxation on a wide range of activities, even including death of cattle, forced labour, land conscation, arbitrary arrests and extortion for releasing the person arrested, almost no  provision of government services such as health, education or infrastructure in Rohingya areas.

    All of these policies are part of a systematic approach of impoverishing and oppressing the 
    Rohingya in order to attempt to drive them out of Burma. They are deliberately designed so that there can be an element of deniability by central government, which tries to blame some of these  policies on local authorities, rogue individual police and security officers, and a lack of adequatetraining.

    The humanitarian consequences

    Even before the violence in 2012, the humanitarian consequences of decades of government 
    repression and impoverishment of the Rohingya were severe. While the government has traditionally failed to provide adequate services to the population in Rakhine State, including for the ethnic Rakhine, services were very limited, and especially for the Rohingya. Rohingya arefrequently denied access to hospitals and clinics. 

    • 70% of Rohingya have no access to safe water/sanitation services
    • In the Maungdaw Rohingya District there is just one doctor per 160,000 people. The World 
    Health Organisation 
        recommends one doctor per 5,000 people.
    • Only 2% of Rohingya women give birth in hospital.
    • 44% of the population of Rakhine State lives below the poverty line, almost 20 percent higher than the average in 
        most parts of Burma.

    Government restrictions placed on humanitarian aid

    "…the deprivation of health care is deliberately targeting the Rohingya population, and that the increasingly permanent segregation of that population is taking place. Furthermore, he believes that those human rights violations are connected to discriminatory and persecutory policies against the Rohingya Muslim population, which also include ongoing official and unofficial practices from bothlocal and central authorities restricting rights to nationality, movement, marriage, family, health andprivacy.

    "
    Report  of  the  Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, April 2014.

    • International organisations have to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government which is more
       restrictive than in most countries and can take years to obtain.
    • The MoU limits what an organisation can do, so if they 
      want to work in a new area or provide 
    a different service to meet a newly identied need they have to start difcult and 
        lengthy 
    negotiations.
    • The government uses 'security concerns' to block humanitarian access to certain places at certain times.

    • Foreign staff need special visas to enter Burma and only limited numbers of visas 

      are     given. Aid   workers have had visas denied.
    • In times of emergency restrictions on numbers of visas given still apply, effectively 

      stopping an    adequate response, such as when Hurricane Giri struck Rakhine State.
    • Foreign staff who are given visas can face restrictions on where they are allowed to go

       within Burma,     and only be allowed in the country for a short period. 
    • Travel authorisations are needed for Burmese humanitarian staff going to remote

             areas. These often  need renewing every month and may be delayed or denied.
    • Rohingya staff working for international organisations face additional travel  

      estrictions. These have become much stricter since the violence in 2012.
    • Rohingya humanitarian aid workers working for international organisations, including

       the United  Nations, have been subject to arbitrary arrest and detention.
    • Several days advance notice needs to be given to the government before aid workers

      can   travel to  some areas.
    • Overall, access has become more difficult and restrictions more severe since the

      violence in   2012,  despite the need for humanitarian assistance increasing.
    • Permission to stay overnight in remote areas is often denied, and as travel times make

       going to a  place and back in one day impossible, projects are effectively blocked

       without    officially being denied.
    • The government has not taken effective action to stop the spread of misinformation and

       incitement of    violence against international humanitarian aid organisations and their

       employees.
    • Government of
    cials and leading politicians have directly or indirectly supported or

      appeared to support the spread of misinformation and incitement of violence against

       international humanitarian  organisations.
    • Aid organisations, including MSF, have faced threats of expulsion or have effectively

      been   expelled, permanently and temporarily, from working in Rakhine State.

    • Local humanitarian staff and their families have faced threats and abuse.

    • Local campaigns against international humanitarian organisation have resulted in

       blocking  of delivery of aid, and refusing to rent offices, land, cars or other services to

       humanitarian  organisations. The government has taken no effective action to counter

       these campaigns.As  with many of the policies of impoverishment and repression

       against the Rohingya, the   Burmese government tries to deny responsibility for many

      of these restrictions, citing local anti-Rohingya sentiment, the local government, and

      bureaucracy for which they need international aid to improve. Taken together though

      they amount to a clear pattern and  policy of obstruction of humanitarian assistance in

       line with the policy of making life for   the Rohingya as unbearable as possible so that

      they leave the country.President Thein Sein has stated that his goal is for all Rohingya to

       leave Burma:

     

    "The solution to this problem is that they can be settled in refugee camps managed by UNHCR, and UNHCR provides for them. If there are countries that would accept them, they could be sent there."

     

    11 July 2012, while discussing the issue of Rohingya with UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres.


    Camps For Internally Displaced Rohingya


    "I witnessed a level of human suffering in IDP camps that I have personally never see before…appalling conditions…wholly inadequate access to basic services including health, education, water and sanitation."


    Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kyung-wha Kang in June 2014 after visiting IDP camps in Rakhine State.

     

    "I have seen many camps during my time but the conditions in these camps rank among the worst… Unfortunately we as the United Nations are not able to get in and do the range of work we would like to do with those people, so the conditions are terrible….It's a dire situation and we have to do  something about it."
     
    Valeri  e     Amos,   Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Baroness Amos after visiting IDP camps in Rakhine State in December 2012

    Around 140,000 ethnic Rohingya have been living in camps in Rakhine State since 2012. There 
    is no adequate provision of health services, education for children, housing, sanitation, or food. The United Nations has not publicly published and promoted information about the situation in the camps, presumably for fear of upsetting the Burmese government, and also as such statistics would result in criticism of the United Nations and international community for allowing such dire conditions to continue.

    In March 2014, 33 offices of humanitarian organisations were attacked by violent mobs. Extremists used the pretext of an aid worker insulting the Buddhist flag to incite the attacks. However, there was no evidence this had happened, and there had been well organised incitement against aid organisations building up for weeks with no preventative action taken by the government. 

    The so-called 'spontaneous' mobs had the names and addresses of aid organisations offices and 
    were allowed to systematically attack them without interference from police or security forces. Aid workers were forced to ee for their lives, and many had to leave the area altogether. Humanitarian access gradually started to resume in the following weeks, but has still not returned to the already limited level it was at in March 2014.

    Outside the camps

    Around 800,000 Rohingya who live outside camps are also in dire need of humanitarian assistance. In some areas the rates of malnutrition are over 20 percent. Provision of health services are almost non-existent. Detailed information is hard to obtain as even where the UN and aid agencies do manage to get access to obtain statistics, they do not often publish these for public distribution, either for fear of upsetting the Burmese government, or for fear of facing further restrictions as  punishment by the Burmese government for doing so.

    Conclusion

    The humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State and impoverishment of the Rohingya is part of a long-term  policy of repression of the ethnic Rohingya which has been stepped up since the reform process  began in 2011.

    As a result of Burmese government policies, actions and inaction, almost one million ethnic 
    Rohingya are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. 140,000 of these are living in squalid camps in Rakhine State. There is a downward spiral with an overall decline in the ability of international organisations to deliver humanitarian assistance. The Burmese government strings the international community along with promises of future change, or using its old tactic of taking two steps back, one step forward, then being praised by parts of the international community for the one step forward, even though the overall situation is now worse than before. The case with MSF in 2014 is a classic example of this.

    The government policy of increased violence and repression, and denial of humanitarian assistance, is working in terms of achieving their goals. Since 2012 more than 80,000 Rohingya have ed Burma by boat. More have left by other routes. This could amount to around ten percent of the entire Rohingya population in Burma driven out of the country within two years.
     
    The lack of international action following the violence in 2012, despite evidence from Human Rights Watch of state involvement in what amounts to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, and the conclusion of the special rapporteur that crimes against humanity may have taken  place against the Rohingya, has emboldened the Burmese government to step up repression and humanitarian restrictions against the Rohingya. 

    The international community, including the USA, European Union and agencies of the United 
     Nations are even retreating from previous positions held in defence Rohingya rights. They are not applying any signicant high-level pressure regarding humanitarian access, they are no longer actively advocating for reform of the 1982 Citizenship Law, and are now even stopping using the word Rohingya. How can the international community protect the rights of the Rohingya when they won't even use our name?

    Recommendations

    • United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon should personally take the lead in negotiating free and unhindered international humanitarian access in Rakhine State. Individual governments should encourage Ban Ki-moon to take up this issue and give high-level support to his efforts. • Governments need to make itclear that future positive diplomatic relations are contingent on unhindered humanitarian access, reform of the 1982 Citizenship Law, and abolishment of discriminatory policies and practices against the Rohingya.

     
    • Diplomats and UN ofcials should use the word "Rohingya" both in public and private. By avoiding the term, they legitimise the Burmese government's ongoing discrimination and campaign to portray the Rohingya as illegal immigrants. 
    • The humanitarian crisis for the Rohingya in Burma is part of a systematic policy of impoverishment of the Rohingya. These policies may constitute crimes against humanity, and have helped lead to ethnic cleansing. The international community should support the establishment of an independent international investigation into possible violations of international law against the Rohingya in Burma.
     
    • Robust and specic language on the Rohingya must be included in the next United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Burma. This should include use of the word "Rohingya," demand unhindered humanitarian access, reform of the 1982 Citizenship Law and lifting of all discriminatory policies, and establish a UN Commission of Inquiry into possible violations of international law against the Rohingya in Burma.