UK Shadow Minister for International Development, Rushanara Ali, MP, has urged the British government to apply pressure on the Burmese authorities to address the humanitarian crisis in Burma and put human rights at the heart of their reforms process.
Burmese president Thein Sein will soon begin his official tour of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and France, it was announced yesterday.
Ali expressed worries about the humanitarian crisis in Burma’s Rakhine State and the human rights abuses against the Rohingya, a Muslim community, and other minorities in Burma.
She acknowledged the progress the Burmese government had made towards political and economic reforms since President Thein Sein took office. But, she said, the international community should not ignore the considerable work the Burmese government still needs to do.
Rushanara Ali, MP, who recently visited Burma, said, “Since inter-communal violence first broke out last year, Rohingya Muslims have been forced into segregated settlements and their movements have been restricted, stripping them of their livelihoods and rendering them reliant on aid. Displaced people are living in constant fear of violence, abuse and harassment both from the security services and from fears of a further attack from sections of the Rakhine population.
PHANG NGA, Thailand (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Record numbers of stateless Rohingya Muslims are fleeing Myanmar following two bouts of sectarian violence last year that left scores dead and some 140,000 displaced, most of them Muslims.
Estimates on the number of people leaving on boats from the Bay of Bengal between June 2012 and May 2013 range from 27,000 to nearly 35,000 – the biggest exodus in years.
Some passengers were from Bangladesh but most were Rohingya, who have lived in Myanmar for generations but are denied citizenship.
Zawbader Hattu, 31, was one of them. Detained in a government-run shelter in southern Thailand with about 60 other women and children since February, she told Thomson Reuters Foundation why she left Myanmar. Continue reading
Thailand’s navy denied on Friday a Reuters report that its personnel were involved in a lucrative smuggling and trafficking network that exploits minority Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar.
The Reuters investigation, citing people smugglers and Rohingyas who made the journey, found that Thai naval security forces were involved in the smuggling of Rohingya Muslims.
They have fled Myanmar, also known as Burma, in sharply growing numbers over the last year following outbreaks of religious violence at home.
The smuggling network, centred on the west coast of southern Thailand, transports thousands of Rohingya mainly into neighbouring Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country the Rohingya view as a haven from persecution. Continue reading
Hundreds of thousands of the Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar living in the Kingdom, who had received Bangladeshi passports in 1978-79 to flee Buddhist persecution in the Burmese state of Arkan, have been urged by Dhaka to forgo Bangladeshi passports.
Bangladeshi Expatriates’ Welfare Minister Mosharraf Hossain recently said around 500,000 Rohingyas are living in Saudi Arabia with Bangladeshi passports.
Dhaka and Islamabad had come forward to rescue the persecuted Rohingyas. Continue reading