Thursday, March 22, 2012

93 - First Rohingya delegate visits US congress

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB)
Date: 13 May 2010

Maung Tun Khin this week became the first Rohingya to brief the US congress on the religious persecution of ethnic minorities at the hands of the Burmese government.

The president of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK) travelled to the US as part of a delegation, joined by Christian Solidarity Worldwide's Benedict Rogers.

Maung Tun Khin said the visit was "an extremely valuable opportunity to provide a voice for all the people of Burma, including the Rohingya, and to advocate for a UN commission of inquiry to be established, to investigate crimes against humanity and war crimes".

Rogers told the congress panel, which included congressmen Joseph Pitts and Chris Smith, that the plight of ethnic and religious minorities in Burma was "neglected".

There has been a concerted effort to attempt to try the Burmese junta for crimes against humanity and war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Maung Tun Khin presented evidence of the widespread, systematic persecution of his people and the growing crisis of refugees fleeing to Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated countries on earth.

The Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim group estimated by the UN to number some 800,000, reside in Burma's western Arakan state. Their treatment by the Burmese government has long been regarded as amongst the most brutal in the world.

Elaine Pearson, deputy director of the Asia division at Human Rights Watch (HRW), recently told DVB that "there are serious concerns for the Rohingya's safety inside Burma", whilst calling on more countries to take Rohingya as refugees.

The open racism of the Burmese government, which denies them citizenship, was exemplified in February last year by Burma's ambassador to Hong Kong, Ye Myint Aung, who described the Rohingya as "ugly as ogres" in a letter to the press.

This comment followed one month after photographs emerged of nearly 1,000 Rohingya who had washed up in boats on Thailand's southeastern coast being towed back out to sea by Thai authorities, where four of the boats sank. The Thai government was roundly condemned for the treatment.

Bangladesh has also been criticised for blocking attempts by the UN refugee agency to grant refugee status to the estimated 378,000 who remain in the country's eastern Cox's Bazaar district illegally.

Rohingya appeal for release from Christmas Detention Camp, Australia

Ms. Ellen Hansen
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
3 Lyons Place
Lyons, ACT, 2606
Tel: +61 2 6260 3411 /262819100
Fax: +61 2 6260 3477

Dear Madam,
With due respect, I would like draw your kind attention that my innocent children and wife are passing life in difficult situation as there is nobody to assist them for their welfare.
Indeed, I have genuine reason for leaving Malaysia which is well known to the office of the UNHCR. I had been working for the welfare of refugees and also trying to cooperate the UNHCR from a position of Area Coordinator of the Arakan Rohingya Refugee Committee (ARRC) Malaysia .
Besides, I was trying to work closely with various ethnic and religious groups of Burma to have urgent democratic changes through national reconciliation and power transition from a position of Joint Secretary for the National Democratic Party for Human Rights (NDPHR) exile, South East Asia Regional Office.
In my living area of Klang, I set up a Rohingya community school namely Darul Uloom Blossom Garden with a view to educating refugee children and to eradicate illiteracy rate from refugee population.
Being a modern religious educated person, I had been targeted by a fanatic group, which had stepped to snatch me for several occasions. Luckily, I tactfully managed to escape from the instance.
I have reported all these information to the office of the UNHCR in Malaysia . The officer of Outreach Protection Intervention (OPI) responded me to hide away by any mean as the UNHCR is not in position to provide shelter within Malaysia , while no place is available for relocation to a third country.
This instruction helped me enough to find alternative way to choose secondary migration from Malaysia to Indonesia and Australia because of lack of safe place for my life but, the problems remain for security, livelihood and shelter as well.
Although, I have reached to this detention camp in later December 2009, my case is being kept pending for further investigation. Meanwhile, the Immigration of the Australia is processing the case under its own procedure.

However, I have the strong believe that UNHCR is in position to intervene in my case because I am recognized refugee of the agency and left Malaysia under its official’s verbal instruction.

At the same time, my wife has approached to the office of the UNHCR in Kuala Lumpur for several times to describe her difficult situations and to seek humanitarian assistance but failed to meet with anything. She was forcibly returned by security guards for unexplained reasons.

I would be highly appreciate, if you kindly do favor for the protection of my life and safer lives of my 4 innocent children and wife in Malaysia on humanitarian ground.

My UNHCR File number in Malaysia is : 512-03C-00571

My wife’s Name is : Jummah Bi

My Children are: : Hkim, Siti Sadiqah, Omar Faruk, Rohana

My Wife’s contact number is : +60 163831520

She can be reached by our Arakan Rohingya Refugee Committee (ARRC), Malaysia's Program Coordinator Mr. Mohammad Sadek at +60 163094599 because my wife is unable to speak in English, while Burmese is vey weak that only because of ethnic minority. UNHCR frequently use Burmese interpreter to talk applicants. Therefore request you to kindly assist my family through appropriate measure.

Thank you and best regards,

Sayad Kasim Abudl Majid

Body No. Mal005

Christmas Ireland , Northern Territory ,


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