Asean must end Myanmar crisis

Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, MAPIM | .

Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organization (MAPIM) calls  on leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries to act concretely and halt the continuing tragedy of brutal oppression of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar on the eve of the 26th ASEAN Summit in Malaysia.

Undoutbtedly the report released by the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) on Myanmar Muslim Rohingya indicates serious risk of atrocity crimes, defined by the UN as genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression.

These findings are not new for many activist of relief organizations who are trying hard to have access to IDP camps in Rakhine State , Myanmar , who collects testimonies of anti-Muslim violence and human rights abuses against ethnic minorities.

The presence of proven atrocity crimes especially on the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar until today should not be ignored and brush aside as an internal matter of Myanmar. It must be addressed by the Asean leaders.

The anti Muslim movement led by the militant Buddhist monk, Wiruthu who stil propagate hate speeches with extremist languages also created the Ma Ba Tha (969) , the militia group that execute the atrocities against the Rohingya minority.

The crux of the issue lies in the Burma’s 1982 Citizenship Law which denies Rohingyas as citizens of the state.  This has sparked the rampant violence between ethnic Arakanese Buddhists and the Muslims in the area, causing thousands of Rohingyas to flee their homes.

The Asean leaders cannot ignore the severe discrimination and confinement in inhuman camps forced by the Myanmar government on the Rohingya Muslims.

Ignoring this would only reflect the worthless status of the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)  that was set up to address the vulnerable Rohingya group pushed to flee to the seas, and expose to traffickers.

We are particularly concern on the burden on Malaysia which has become the choice of destination for the Rohingya maritime exodus. Maynmar cannot clean its hand with an excuse that this is an internal affairs. Tens of thousands of stateless Rohingyas are now taking refuge in Malaysia.

We regret that Asean has failed to address the crisis . There has been no effective measures to prevent the  escalation and the committing of atrocity crimes. The crisis has become an Asean crisis. The non interference policy can no long apply in the case of the Myanmar atrocities.

We hold the Asean leaders responsible if the crisis weakens the security and threathens the stability of the region.

We call the Asean current summit to adopt the following :
1. Conditioning Myanmar that its continuous atrocities on minorities would jeapordise its membership status in Asean.
2. Establish an Asean monitoring team under the auspicious of the AICHR to recommend measures to protect the vunerable minorities in the Myanmar state.
3. The right of return for all the minority refugees to resettle in their homes of origin in Myanmar.
4. Myanmar must comply with recommendations on human rights protection by the AICHR on the Rohingya and other minorities issues  that have undergone abuses and repression .


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