Tags Posts tagged with "Rohingya"

Rohingya

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After the eruption of massive Rohigya Muslim crisis in Myanmar, till now over six lakh twenty seven thousand refugees have entered Bangladesh since last August after fleeing from the terror stricken Rakhine province of the Buddhist nation where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya muslim women, children, old aged and those suffering from various ailments have been killed mersilessly with their houses, huts and tenements burned by the Myanmar army and police. This was in retaliation to the attack by certain hard core Rohingya extremist groups killing more than thirty Myanmar guards and burning of police posts last August say the authorities.

This figure of 6.3 lakh Rohingya muslims in extremely shattered condition is in addition to the 3 lakh already existing refugees in Bangladesh. The prime minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina has drawn out a detailed plan to rehabilitate over one lakh refugees in the Thengar char area near the sea, currently the flooded plain for which the government of Bangladesh has earmarked a whopping budget of 278 million US dollars. This vast plain area near the sea of Bay of Bengal is scaytered in 30 thousand hectares.

The government has plans to construct thousands of hutments and about 120 health centres here in order to adjust and accomodate a vast number of Rohingya Muslim refugees having sought refuge in Bangladesh after fleeing in badly shattered condition from the Rakhine province of riot torn Buddhist nation Myanmar. The US, UK and the UN authorities have condemned the despicable killings of Rohingyas in strongest possible terms and has termed these genocidal attacks as ethinic cleansing.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission is also extending all possible financial and medical support to the refugees and the Bangladesh government. The already weak and trembling Bangladesh economy has been badly affected by this ongoing refugee crisis and the subsequent economic burden confronted by it. This is the worst refugee crisis any country of the globe has ever witnessed with over ten lakh refugees landing in Bangladesh in just a year or two. It may be recalled that the Rohingya province of Myanmar is dominated by a vast muslim population and the crisis has its roots since the government of Myanmar declared the former’s citizenship as illegal.

The situation took the ugly turn when oneof the hard core group called Rahingya Muslim Liberation Front killed 20 to 30 Myanmarese guards at the border posts last July/ August and burnt majority of the Army posts at the Myanmar Bangladesh Border. Since then the government of Myanmar let loose its terror in Rakhine province killing hundreds of Rohingyas and birning theor houses leading to the mass scale i flux of refugees under pitiable shattered condition to Bangladesh and India. While Bangladesh is worst affected by the massive Rohingya influx , India too has over 40 thousand refugees.
SUNIL NEGI

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SUNIL NEGI

The complex issue of deportation of Rohingya muslim refugees is a hot topic these days with greater emphasis being laid on the deportation of these 40 thousand refuge seekers having entered India in different parts of the country since 2012 after the Budhist Rohingya crisis actually started though on a feeble note then but became extremely hot and bloodiest after the Rohinga Arakan Salvation Army extremists attacked and damaged several police posts at the Indo Mayamar border and killed 20 Myanmar guards on August 25th.

The retaliation afterwards reached such an uncontrolled height that hundreds of thousands of Rohingya muslims settled in Rakhine province have to seek refuge in Bangladesh along with food and water starved children, old aged,  sick youth and women in absolute pitiable conditions. About seven lakh Rohingya muslims fled from Rakhine province of Myanmar to Bangladesh in view of the unmitigated tortures and killings with a lakh or so still stuck in the border town of Tefnaq. Several refugees died in the seawaters while cladestinely going towards Bangladesh on boats that overturned. The cox bazaar of Bangladesh has largest of settlements in tents housing lakhs of aweful refugees in tatters, dying of desease and hunger and various philanthropic organisation including the UNHCR taking care of them.

In India as compared to 4 lac 20 thousand Rohingya refugees having taken shelter in Bangladesh, the number of 40 thousand is quite a low figure, but the media and political hype is excessive. Just imagine, what difference does a mere refugee influx of 40 thousand in a country with a population of 150 crores makes to its demography, particularly when 10 lakh Bangladeshi migrants are already residing in various parts of the country for the last several decades and not a single refugee has been deported till date despite so much of hue and cry by several political parties, particularly the BJP, time and again.

The Indian government which is not bound by any refugee UN convention, not being a signatory is bound to deport the Rohingya refugees under the pretext that they are the greatest risk to India’s safety, security, sovereignity and integrity, having confirmed dubious international connections with the terrorists organisations viz ISI, Lashkare Tayyeba, Jaish – e – Mohammed and even the Haqquani network whereas as per the various media reports based on authentic police informations except an incident of killing of two monks in Varanasi, that too was later on connected with the SIMI militants in 2013, not a single case was found to be that of a Rohingya militant or terrorist.

In an affidavit filed on behalf of the government in the apex court on 18th September the government requested the honourable court not meddle in this matter as it involves the nation’s safety, security and integrity for which according to the confirmed intelligence reports the Rohingya muslims are the greatest threat. And as such their deportation back to their country is legally mandatory. It’s a hard fact that though the Indian government is not legally bound by any UN commitment for keeping the refugees in their country but is also the signatory to international convention against torture and as such is liable to allow the stay of foreign refugees in its territory as sending them back to Myanmar may pose direct threat to their lives and physical existence. The moot point here is if the current political dispensation is so serious to deport the 40000 distressed refugees back to Myanmar where their lives and existence are in absolute danger why is it that about more than ten lakh Bangladeshi refugees who’d come to INDIA decades ago have not been deported back to Bangladesh by the BJP despite their 8 year rule till now viz 5 year rule during the AB VAJPAYEE government and more than three year rule of the present political and administrative dispensation. Why this political hypocrisy now? The answer is unambiguous that the election of 2019 are near and polarisation politics is in the making? What do you say friends?

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While on the one hand the Indian government is seriously and with a traditional feeling of helping its neighbour, Myanmar’s suffering Rakhine inhabited Rohingya muslims providing its maximum moral, economic, social and political support as it has done in Srilanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and even Pakistan while these nation suffered natural calamities, on the other hand unfortunately and angushingly Pakistan terror outfits like Lashkare Taiyebba, Harkat Ul Ansar and Hijbul Mujaheeddin etc are taking advantage of the deteriorating Rohingya situation, adding fuel to fire by enhancing its terrorist disruptive activities.

These terror outfits armed with latest lethal equipments are active in Bangladesh’s Cox bazaar and Tefnak at the Bangladesh Myanmar Border. While the Myanmarese government and its State councillor Noble Laureate Aung Sang Kyi always considered to be the champion of the human rights seems to have failed in controlling and resolving the Rohingya impasse and the United states and UN have deplored them for this worst ethnic cleansing ever.

While India is also watching the situation from close quarters having itself been entangled in this issue in terms of the deportation of 40000 Rohingya refugees who’ d infilterated in India, Pakistan terror outfits and the internationally defamed terrorists Azhar Masood and Hafiz Sayeed alongwith other Islamic fundamentalists such as Afgan Taliban, Al Qaida’sYemen branch LET and JEM etc have called for attacks on the Myanmar authorities in support of the Rohingyas. As per the HT senior journalist Shishir Gupta  there is an urgent need for de- escalation in levels of violence in Rakhine state as there is a strong possibility of other displaced Rohingya being radicalised by Sunni fundamentalist groups including the Bangladesh chapter of the Islamic state to take to arms.

There is now clear evidence that little known AMM has emerged from Harkat-Ul- Jihad Islami Arakan (HUJI-A) a Pakistani based extremist outfit involved in espousing the Rohingya Muslim cause in Myanmar. Several Myanmarese Rohingya leaders have sought terror training in Pakistan under the patronage and supervision of Hafiz Sayeed. The recruits are absorbed from Myanmar’ s Rakhine state and Bangladesh’s Cox bazaar. These AMM cadres were trained since 2013 at the Bangladesh Myanmar border as well with adequate training for explosive making, indigenously.

It is now believed that the terrorist outfits active in Pakistan and Bangladesh in league with Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army n other local radical organisations clandestinely active in Myanmar have infilterated amongst the Rohingya’ s and are trying to rope in more and more cadres by misguiding the distracted and desperate youth. It is really shocking that in this conflict of ethnic cleansing by the Myanmar government as accused by US and UN authorities, who( Myanmar) entirely blame the Rohingyas for attacking the state police and killing police guards, the situation is going out of hand with the sufferings of innocent poor Rohingyas’ enhancing beyond control.

While the physical torture, attacks and killings of innocent Rohingya refugees can’ t be excused or condoled at any cost, the disruptive terrorist activities of the Pak and Bangladesh terrorists should also be checked and countered with a heavy hand. Now is the time that countries against such terror outfits should intervene also resolve the crisis once for all by eliminating them from the roots.

What makes the peace loving global community disturbed is the fact that the more various powerful countries of the globe are pledging unitedly to fight terrorism on this planet with a heavy hand, the more are these disgruntled elements raising their heads to this world a worst place to live in. Today terrorism is the higest curse being confronted by humanity world over and therefore the need of the hour is to give up narrow political considerations and stand unitedly to fight this curse strongly and cohesively in the widest interest of human beings and humanity.

Sunil Negi

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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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The Rohingya muslim refugee situation is becoming more and more complex day by day with united nations taking special note of it. While Bangladesh has so far accepted over two lakh refugees with more than seventy thousand in battered and aweful condition lying in the border town of TEKNAF surviving at the hands of some philanthropic organisations n UN, over fifty thousand of them are in India. After the hard hitting deplorable statement of the UN High Commisioner on human rights protection Al Assad pointing fingers at India, the Indian home minister of state seems to have back tracked for the time being saying that India has not firmed its final position on the Rohingya Muslim refugee expulsion but has simply but catagorically asked the state governments to immaculately identify the actual refugees.

It may be recalled that just yesterday Mr. Hussein, while addressing the 36th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, said, “I deplore current measures in India to deport Rohingya at a time of such violence against them in their country. Some 40,000 Rohingya have settled in India and 16,000 of them have received refugee documentation. Just a day before the Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiran Rijuju has reportedly said that because India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention, the country can dispense with international law on the matter, together with basic human compassion.

However, by virtue of customary law, its ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the obligations of due process and the universal principle of non-refoulement (a number of international instruments relating to refugees), India cannot carry out collective expulsions, or return people to a place where they risk torture or other serious violations.” The state home minister’s statement to The Hindu Daily going against his earlier stand of repatriating the Rohingya refugees to Myanmar therefore seems to be quite significant and indicates the policy shift of the Indian government.

However prime minister Narendra Modi had in his earlier statements in Myanmar and India while expressing his serious concern over the situation has urged for the mature and peaceful resolution of this vexed issue. In the meanwhile reports are also pouring in that that the terror sponsering nation Pakistan is trying to take advantage of the situation as internationally known Pak terrorist Azar Masood has given a call to his hardcore terrorist cadres to infilterate in Myanmar and teach the government a befitting lesson through its terror activities.

There had already been number of protest demonstrations in favour of the Rohingya Muslim refugees in various parts of Pakistan asking various terror outfits to avenge the torture and victimsation of Rohingya Muslims in the Rohingya dominated Rakhine province and other parts of Myanmar by the Buddhists and the government there. There have also been voices for taking back the Noble prize from Noble laureate and the undisputed leader of Myanmar Buddhist community but the Noble prize committee has outrightly rejected the demand. While the United Nations has accelarated its efforts to resolve this vexed issue Bangladesh has raised its arms up expressing its total inability to accept the influx of ROHINGYA refugees on its soil as it’s already reeling under tremendous socio political and economic pressure within their own country.

The ethnic conflict in Myanmar has its roots since 1982 when through an act of the Myanmar government the Rohingya muslims were denied the citizenship. Since then the ethnic conflict between the Buddhists and the Rohingyas continued with gradual flushing out of the muslim population from the state.

A redical organisation fighting for the rights of Rohingya Muslims known as ARAKAN ROHINGYA SALVATION ARMY retaliated to the increasing torture of the Myanmar police and army in the last week of August, 2017 by bombing and firing on the Myanmar police posts at the Myanmar Bangladesh Border killing about 20 guards. This resulted in an increase in the conflict with blood bath around and incessant torture and killings of the Rohingyas fleeing from Myanmar saving their lives. Till date as per the United Nations’ statistics about 3 lacs Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh and India with thousands having taken refuge in extremely aweful and pitiable condition in Tefnak with UNHCR n some philanthropic organisations taking care of them.

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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?

 

SUNIL NEGI