Thursday 20 June 2013

Tun Abdullah Urges Myanmar Muslim Minorities To Give Priorty To Education

Tun Abdullah Urges Myanmar Muslim Minorities To Give Priorty To Education
Source Bernama, 19 June
KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 (Bernama) -- Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi urged the Muslim minority in Asean countries, including those in Myanmar, to give priority to education.

He said that the Muslim communities should seek to empower themselves with education and pursue knowledge which is relevant to their needs in the 21st century.

Abdullah said this in his keynote address at the International Forum on Plight of Muslims in Burma in the 21st century: An Initiative for Solution and the Way Forward, held at the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS), here, Wednesday.

He said that apart from education, the development of youths and economy of the Muslim communities were also important aspects to be considered in order to achieve a better future for the respective Muslim minority.

However, Abdullah, who is patron of IAIS Malaysia, stressed that in trying to achieve this, they should not sought to violence but instead adopt peaceful means and work in tandem with the non-Muslim communities.

He also pointed out that the more developed Muslim communities could also help the less developed ones in order to achieve this success and to secure their rights in society.

Speakers at the half-day forum, organised by IAIS Malaysia, included President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST) Dr Chandra Muzaffar, while the moderator was Deputy CEO of IAIS Associate Professor Dr Mohamed Azam Mohamed Adil.

Dr Chandra said that it was true that Myanmar has made some changes such as parliamentary elections, changes in economy and was now more open to foreign investment.

"But perhaps these changes will not bring about fundamental transformation in the Myanmar society," he said adding that Asean had a responsibility to try to bring about the change.

"We would like to see Asean governments adopt a more proactive approach to the question of the Rohingyas in Myanmar and of the other minorities," he added.

He said it was important for Asean to speak up and say "lets try to resolve this problem, you must resolve the root of the problem," which is the question of the citizenship and the question of the nature of the regime in Myanmar.

However, Dr Chandra emphasised that the issue must be resolved through non-violence and peaceful methods.

Asean (Association of Southeast Nations) comprise Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam..

South Thailand Villagers Protest Against Rohingya Refugee Camp Construction
Source Bernama, 9 June
BANGKOK, June 19 (Bernama) -- Villagers of a southern Thailand province are currently protesting against the planned construction of a temporary camp for Rohingya migrants in their neighbourhood, China's Xinhua news agency reported quoting police as saying.

An estimated 5,000 villagers of Cha-uad district in Nakorn Sri Thammarat province have signed up a petition in protest of the government's plan to build the camp for Rohingya refugees, who may have fled a sectorial strife inside Myanmar's Rakhine state by boat sailing toward Thai waters in the Andaman Sea.

The planned site for the camp to accommodate thousands of refugees is inside the compound of the 427th Border Patrol Company which lies in proximity of the local schools and villages, according to the Cha-uad protesters.

The local villagers feared that Rohingya migrants might carry epidemics and other diseases as well as jeopardise their safety and livelihood.

However, Deputy Interior Minister Pracha Prasopdee is scheduled to visit the area where the planned refugee camp is located and meet with the protesters on Friday in a bid to solve the problem.

The Muslim Rohingya "boat people", including children and elderly persons, had earlier landed on shore in southern Thailand, exhausted and underfed, sickly and desperately looking for a third country to settle down. Thai authorities provided the migrants with food and temporary shelter before finally sending them off to the sea.

While some of the Rohingyas were taken care of by Thai authorities and southern villagers purely on humanitarian basis, others were reported to have been robbed, assaulted and killed by suspected human traffickers.


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