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ARAKAN ROHINGYA NATIONAL ORGANISATION (ARNO) welcomes the visit of US Secretary of State to Burma

(28 November 2011)

ARNO welcomes the visit of US Secretary of State to Burma

Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO) warmly welcomes the forthcoming visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Burma, while inviting her attention to the grave human rights violations and growing anti-Rohingya propaganda by U Thein Sein government and sate patronized racists.

Grave human rights violations that amount to crimes against humanity are widespread in Rohingya and other ethnic areas. Most political prisoners are not released; Burmese military offensive against Kachin and other ethnic peoples continued; no significant changes towards national reconciliation have been done. In addition, ‘systematic racism’ against Rohingya has been institutionalized; and religious persecution against non-Buddhist people especially Muslims and Christians has been increased.
It is worth-mentioning that the rejection of Rohingya’s citizenship rights and ethnic rights by U Thein Sein government is the main contributing factor to the growth of the refugee problem and boat people crisis in the region. The Junta’s policy towards Rohingyas has been intolerable. The extreme situation forced them to prefer to take perilous voyages by rickety boats across seas and oceans; as a result hundreds of Rohingya boat people drowned over the years.

Since last week about 140 boat people have drowned. But the Nasaka border security forces disallow the villagers to collect and bury the dead bodies floating in the Naf River. The government of U Thein Sein is responsible for this human tragedy. It is a regional problem with international dimension; and the regional bloc of ASEAN in which Burma was awarded chairmanship for 2014, has an obligation for a regional solution.
The regime has blacklisted the name ‘Rohingya’ despite the fact that Rohingya as an ethnic group of Burma was recognized by the former parliamentary government (1948-1962). It is a part of the regime’s malevolent design to deny the Rohingya of their ethnic rights in Burma. Historically and genealogically, the Rohingya are a people who developed in Arakan from peoples of different ethnical backgrounds over the many centuries.
Democratic and political changes in Burma cannot be expected unless all oppressive laws are scrapped. The regime continues applying, on the Rohingya in particular, the Burma Citizenship Law of 1982 enacted by former dictator U Ne Win, in violation of customary international law. This unjust law has put the Rohingya in a situation of statelessness.
We, therefore, urge upon the U.S. Secretary of State to highlight over the following issues during her visit to Burma:
To restore citizenship rights and ethnic rights of the Rohingya people. To stop persecution and human rights violations against Rohingya and other peoples.
To treat Rohingyas as human beings, and lift all restrictions on their freedom of movement, marriage, education, trade and business.
To find a permanent solution to the Rohingya boat people crisis.
To accept Rohingya as a part of the Burma’s democratic and political process along the line of other ethnic nationalities of the country.
To scrap the Burma Citizenship Law of 1982.
To stop attacking ethnic peoples, declare a nationwide ceasefire; and to release all political prisoners.
To engage in a meaningful process of dialogue with the ethnic nationalities and the democracy movement led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
For further information, please contact:

Nurul Islam: + 44 07947854652
AFK Jilani: + 880 1674811079

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