Tags Posts tagged with "Myanmar"

Myanmar

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Despite living for centuries in Myanmar, the Rohingya (mostly Muslim), have been denied citizenship. A U.N. report has documented numerous instances of gang rape and killings by Myanmar’s security forces.

On Sept 11, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N. human rights chief, termed the actions of state against the Rohingya community as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

In India, where reportedly 40,000 Rohingyas are lodged, the state is considering returning the refugees. Kiren Rijiju, the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs said that, as far as we are concerned they are all illegal immigrants and they have no basis to live here

Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir, a pair of Rohingya refugees, have filed a petition in the Supreme Court. Their petition raises two points:

  • Any deportation would violate the fundamental rights to equality and to life.
  • India would be infringing international law in returning them to Myanmar, in particularl the principle of non-refoulement.

The next hearing for the case is on Sept18. The government, however, may argue that:

  • India is not bound to follow the principle of non-refoulement, because it is not a signatory to the 1951 U.N. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
  • It could be claimed that the Rohingyas are guilty of committing crimes against peace and are a threat to India’s national security.

Taking a look at ‘The principle of non-refoulement’

It is articulated in Article 33 of the 1951 Convention. It mandates that no state shall return or expel a refugee to “the frontiers of territories where his freedom or life would be threatened on account of his race, nationality, religion, membership of a particular political opinion or social group”. However, it certainly allows for an exception in cases if there are “reasonable grounds.”

Previous cases on the same premise:

In their judgments respectively in Dongh Lian Kham v. Union of India (2015) and the Ktaer Abbas Habib Al Qutaifi v. Union of India (1998) Delhi and Gujarat High Courts have virtually incorporated non-refoulement into the guarantees of Article 21 of the Constitution. The Gujarat High Court wrote that the principle protects life and liberty of a human being irrespective of his nationality. It is definitely encompassed in Article 21 of the Constitution, so long as the presence of a refugee is not a threat to the law and order and security of India.

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  • The Rohingya Muslim problem is becoming acutely critical and cumbersome day by day with 10 to 20 thousand battered men, women and children leaving Rakhine province of Myanmar on Daily basis and heading towards Bangladeshm. Thousands of refugees in extremely sorry state are still stranded at the border town Tefnak and Bangladesh’ s cox bazaar being fed by various social and philanthrophic organisations like UNHCR and sikh body called Khalsa India etc. Hundreds of them are sick and injured with total dearth of medical aid and medicines.
  • This seems to be a worst ethinic cleansing in Myanmar in the recent times with the Army and the police literally burning the Rohingya dominated villages and inflicting injuries on old aged, young, women and children. The situation has gone so much out of hand that apart from the United Nations Secretary General Antanio, the US Secretary of state Mark Tillerson has also condemned these anti Rohingya riots in Myanmar and held its political administration and leadership directly responsible for such a dastardly killings and throwing out of the sick and injured populace out of the muslim dominated province Rakhine.
  • The Americans, the Amnesty International and the UN authorities have the satellite pictures clearly showing the burning villages of Rohingya Muslims by the Myanmar army and police with the intent to pre- strategically deport them out of the Buddhist dominated Myanmar. The noble laureate and the undisputed leader of Myanmarese Buddhists Aung Sang Kyi has also been reprimanded by the US and UN saying that though she is still revered and held in high esteem by them being the Noble laureate but since now things are going out of control, she being the official counselor in the government should impartially and fairly help in distinguishing the fire of the ongoing trecherous ethnic cleansing.
  • It has now become intolerable and against the tenets of humanitarian values. The charisma of Aung Sang Kyi, once the champion of human rights during the 50 year old military rule in Myanmar seems to have vanished and faded out, said the UN officials. Meanwhile, the Amnesty International has also stepped in and has accused the Myanmar’ s political rulers for pre-strategically and conspiratorially helping the police and military in physically torturing and eliminating the Rohingyas from their land including burning their 29 villages with mortars and rocket launchers.
  • So far, according to the latest estimates of the injured and terror stricken Rohingyas who’ ve left Rakhine province of Myanmar in desperation is 6 to 7 lakhs, where as the total population of the Rohingya Muslims is estimated to nearly 11 lakhs. The Rohingya Muslim Myanmar Buddhst crisis has its roots since 1982 since when the minority muslims were debarred of Myanmar citizenship however the clashes and bloodbath gained actual momentum on 25th August when Arakan Rohinga Salvation Army attacked  several police posts at the border, destroyed them and killed 20 of the Myanmar guards.

SUNIL NEGI