Our Ref: ARNA/2019/075
Date: 15 Dec 2019
ARNA Calls for Assurance of Justice for Rohingya
The Arakan Rohingya National Assembly (ARNA) welcomes the International Court of Justice (ICJ), International Criminal Court (ICC) and Argentinean Courts, stepping forward for Rohingya people who are victims of genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and various forms of ongoing persecution and oppression.
The rejection of Rohingya is being promoted as a joint cause by the Myanmar government, working closely with extremist monks, nationalists and the Buddhist majority public. International prosecution of criminal government authorities from top to bottom is therefore essential. It is also critical for addressing the root causes of ongoing persecutions in Myanmar not only for Rohingya, but also for other minorities and helps achieve justice for the past, present and future.
The military powered NLD government led by Ms. Suu Kyi has defiantly blocked the UN inquiry commission, diplomats, independent journalists, aid agencies and material supplies essential for basic survival of the Rohingya people. Now the state councilor Suu Kyi's defense of undeniable heinous crimes through her false political narrative, is just over-acting in order to protect the criminal military generals who are responsible for heinous crimes from past and present.
Furthermore, the Suu Kyi government has built a smoke screen by signing MoU with UNHCR & UNDP and Repatriation Agreements with Bangladesh while collecting huge amount of foreign funds in the name of "stabilization" in Arakan (Rakhine) state. This has achieved no practical outcomes on the ground. Rather, it has helped maintain an insecure environment for the existing Rohingya and Kaman population. This smokescreen has also assisted the government to fabricate information and spread misleading propaganda to deflect international pressures and deter international prosecutions.
Today over a million Rohingya refugees have become a heavy burden for Bangladesh alone, with surrounding issues of human trafficking, sex trafficking and organs trafficking. Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are being subjected to restrictions on movement, restrictions on communication services such as mobile phones and a planned mass relocation to 'BaShanShar' - a remote and uninhabited island, on top of their existing vulnerability. The Myanmar government's failure to accede to the Bangladesh government's 4-point Action Plan for repatriation, including accountability and engagement with international communities on the ground where Rohingya will be settled, has led to the 'BaShanShar' relocation program, funded by China. Rohingya refugees fear that mass relocation to 'BashanShar' would result in the creation of a complete sphere of isolation, possibly enabling the repatriation into the existing ghetto conditions in Arakan state.
The country Myanmar has yet to prove the progress as agreements signed with Bangladesh by settling of about 4,000 Rohingyas from Zero-zone and about 150,000 of Rohingyas and Kamans from over 42 internal displaced camps who have been systematically confined in ghetto types since June 2012 and allowing them to recourse to become citizens, and ceasing of arbitrary arrests and imprisonment of Rohingya and Kamans for travelling.
In Myanmar, the central government policy creates a massive gap by pitting majority Buddhism against minority non-Buddhist communities particularly Rohingya. This policy as well as policies that involve the continuous denial of actual facts and reluctance to cooperate on matters that require government accountability, transparency and fairness, are now part of the norm. The crisis in Arakan is a part of life, including the deaths among a million Rohingya refugees taking shelter in Bangladesh, the remaining Rohingyas and Kamans numbering between 350,000 and 500,000 including those 150,000 trapped systematically in ghetto type camps across Arakan (Rakhine) state and are still facing frequent attacks and deadly starvation from June 2012.
The ending of ongoing genocide and heinous atrocities against Rohingya in Burma and the settlement of millions of vulnerable Rohingya refugees with dignity and safety, will never happen unless mandated concrete actions are taken through international prosecutions, a global political commitment to the R2P resolution and humanitarian intervention with the creation of a protected safe zone. In fact, they are only viable options since 'security, safety, existence and welfare' have fallen, creating heavy risk - national authorities are manifestly reluctant to protect, while the state has been sponsoring genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
For these reasons, we call the member countries of the United Nations, international communities, global leaders, humanitarian actors and human rights groups to support the ICJ ruling and the 'Provisional Measures' of ICJ as a first step.
M. ILYAS (chairman), h/p: +(44) 7780 359718, UK
Contact in other countries
Habib, h/p: +(61) 413 799 418, Australia
HF. Hashim Mahmood, h/p: +(88) 1729 872581, Bangladesh
Ayub Khan, h/p: +(60) 11 33315246, Malaysia