Tags Posts tagged with "refugees"

refugees

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The United Nations will not work effectively if it is used merely as forum for destructive propaganda.

Tennyson in ‘Locksley Hall’ presented his vision of the world where “war-drum throbb’d no longer, and the battle flags were furled.” Mudaliar, the Dewan of Mysore speaking on behalf of undivided India had once said, the great reality, which all religions teach is the dignity of the common man.

However, all those words rang hollow, when the Indian and Pakistani delegations faced each other in the U.N. Reality was rare, as even the photograph brandished by Pakistan’s Maleeha Lodhi as being from Jammu and Kashmir was actually from Gaza. In any case, the India-Pakistan war of words was outdone by the U.S. and North Korea.

However UN’s 72nd General Assembly was made one of its most disappointing sessions because of its ineffectiveness on each of the issues pointed out by Secretary General António Guterres in his speech on September 19.

According to him seven biggest threats that face the world today are:

  • Nuclear peril.
  • Terrorism.
  • Unresolved conflicts and violations of international humanitarian law.
  • Growing inequality.
  • Climate change.
  • Cyber warfare and misuse of artificial intelligence.
  • Refugees.

UN’s actions in the case of North Korea just amounted to some more sanctions against it. The truth about sanctions is that they do not work on rogue states but they only isolate their populations from the world, which works in favour of regime’s stranglehold on its people.

On the basis of satellite pictures and the accounts of eyewitnesses, the UN Human Rights chief called military action in post-democracy Myanmar,  a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing”, as close to half a million Rohingya fled from Rakhine villages that were then burnt down and landmines were laid along the border with Bangladesh to prevent their return.

Given that Hafiz Saeed and his associates now plan to stand for public office in Pakistan and while Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi received bail despite financial sanctions, more action is expected from U.N.

Mr. Guterres pointed out on the issue of inequalities that, “eight men represent as much of the world’s wealth as half of all humanity”

UN’s first Secretary General, Trygve Lie, ran an equally divided forum and faced the same challenges before finally resigning from his post in 1952. His last words were, “The United Nations will not work effectively if it is used merely as forum for destructive propaganda. Neither will it work if it is used only as a convenience when national interests are directly involved, and regarded with indifference, or bypassed or opposed, when the general world interest is paramount.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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After the increasing attacks on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar since August 25 when the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacked several Myanmar police posts on the Bangladesh Myanmar border killing twenty Myanmar guards and subsequent lynching of 90 Rohingyas’ the ARSA has finally declared a ceasefire urging Myanmar police to lay down their arms and urging humanitarian organisations to resume relief work in the Rakhine province.

The Rohingya Muslim and Buddhist crisis have assumed gigantic proportion with about three lakh Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar since August 25th with 40 thousand migrating to India, (UN figures). Bangladesh is today the worst affected country with more than two lakhs Rohingya Muslim refugees having migrated here, the nation already reeling under an acute financial crisis.

During the last week’s visit of the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, India has extended tremendous financial package and signed number of other agreements for construction of roads, hospitals and institutions in Rakhine province and Myanmar with the aim to improve the socio economic lot of the affected people. Over 11 lakh Rohingya Muslims are living in Rakhine province of Myanmar in extremely shabby conditions primarily in the coastal areas bereft of civic facilities in ghettos.

The conflict between the Buddhists and the Rohingya Muslims dates back to 1982 since when the Muslims have been barred/ devoid of the Myanmar citizenship and subsequent eruption of ethnic conflict. They are considered as the most persecuted community in the world and the UN has also declared them as a friendless community not being trusted upon an in isolation.

Prime minister Narendra Modi who just returned from his three-day visit to Myanmar had urged for  a solution of the current Rohingya Muslim and Myanmar Buddhist impasse based on mutual respect for peace, communal harmony, justice, dignity and democratic values. Bangladesh which is the worst sufferer in terms of receiving more than two lakh Rohingya Muslim refugees in just fifteen days on its land after the latter’s’ having been flushed out from Myanmar due the on going blood bath in Rakhine and other parts of Myanmar has said that the Bangladesh government was providing shelter to these refugees out of humanitarian considerations but was putting lot of pressure on the government and its already overburdened fiscal deficit economy.

Meanwhile, there are reports that the Myanmar border police has laid landmines in the border areas to resist the refugees coming back to Myanmar after they are being pushed back at the Bangladesh border. Sources say that thousands of terror stricken refugees are still thronging Bangladesh border to seek refuge in this country. Reports about the burning of the villages of the Rohingya Muslims by local Buddhists in Rakhine province are still pouring in while the Buddhists are denying the allegations saying that they are not the Buddhists who are burning the Muslim villages but the Rohingyas’ themselves are doing so to defame them.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s successful Myanmar visit after the impressive BRICS ‘ outcome deserves to be complimented fully. He concluded his trip’s  last lap by laying floral wrath and paying rich tributes to India’s last SHAHENSHA BAHADUR SHAH ZAFAR in Rangoon, now Yangam, who was also a great shayar and a calligrapher. India which shares approximately 1400 kilometer long border with Myanmar, earlier Burma, considers this country as its most important neighbor from the geopolitical interest as India would never risk a Budhist majority nation to fall in the manipulative tactics of expansionist China which is doing its best to entice this small nation under its diplomatic grip.

Myanmar is India’s old friend and its noble laureate undisputed leader Aung Sang kyi sought her education in India. Its India’s geopolitical compulsions that restricted prime minister Modi to raise the issue of Rohingya Muslims, 40000 of whom have migrated to India after having been thrown out of Rakhine, muslim dominated province after the clashes between the Budhists and the Rohingyas. About 1lac 25 thousand Rohingya Muslims are today in the lurch having been thrown out of Myanmar, majority of whom have sought refuge in Bangladesh and India in extremely pitiable condition. After the attack on border posts of Myanmar by a radical Rohingya organisation in which 20 Myanmar military guards were killed, the attacks on the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar increased manifold with Bangladesh also flushing out majority of the refugees infiltrating the Bangladesh’s porous borders.

The Indian state Home Minister Kiran Rijuju has also declared that India would not hesitate to repatriate the Rohingya immigrants back to Myanmar. However, the matter is now in the Apex court which has asked the government to submit the detailed status report. The prime minister has instead of raising the Rohingya immigrants issue assured the Myanmar ruling establishment of completing various development projects pertaining to roads, hospitals and educational institution in the violence prone Rakhine province and other parts of Myanmar. India has also assured of vast financial and other form of support. Rakhine province is the primary home for Rohingyas and the epic center of the violence. India has overriding security and geo- political interest with this country, particularly in the context of China which is trying hard to manipulate Myanmar fall into its trap. It is pertinent here to mention that India would never  let Myanmar to be used by the North east militants as safe haven to carry out disruptive activities in the Himalayan states. India would also never like to see that the relations between Bangladesh and Myanmar deteriorate any further so that the expansionist and hegmonous China exploits it to its advantage by influencing either of these countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Myanmar visit, therefore can be termed as successful as acceptance of Indian developmental economic aid and various projects of Roads, Hospitals, educational institutions, military support etc  for the good of the Rakhine province and Myanmar may help him gain support and sympathy among the minorities in India and also  keep Myanmar at bay from China in the near future.

What’s your take on this, friends?

 

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