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BAMA: Statement on Loss of Lives in the Bay of Bengal

Statement on Loss of Lives in the Bay of Bengal

Press Statement (2/13) 
November 6, 2013

On behalf of Burmese American Muslim Society, BAMA is deeply saddened by the Loss of Lives in the boat capitalizing off the coast of Rakhine State, Myanmar recently. Based on the UNHCR report around 1500 refugees are missing in the camps and assumed to be fleeing off the coast of Rakhine on the high sea of the Bay of Bengal. Ongoing Anti-Muslims sentiments and Human rights abuse towards the Muslims by the support of Rakhine State and Myanmar’s central government are resulting in such atrocities.

Therefore, we the Burmese American Muslims Association is seriously concerned about the security and humanitarian condition of Rohingya and Muslims population of Myanmar as it is worsening. We demand the following:

1. BAMA strongly condemns the ignorance of Myanmar navy and coast guard for the failure to prevent the fleeing of refugees on the high sea as well as failure to save the fleeing refugees from drowning.

2. Myanmar navy and coast guard must protect any vessel regardless of the size and the point of departure for the safety and security within Myanmar Maritime Territory, and take necessary steps to prevent from the further atrocity as such.

3. Myanmar security forces must not hold or hijack the refugees’ boats for ransom to prevent form coming to shore by threatening to loot and kill the refugees.

4. We urge International Maritime authorities to closely monitor the refugee’s vessels coming off from the Myanmar maritime territory and provide the safety and security to the people according to the international humanitarian norms.

5. Rakhine state and the central government of Myanmar must admit the failure to protect the fleeing people and take responsibility for the death of refugees and release the press statement to the international community as the moment of morning as other civilized society would do.

6. Rakhine state and the central government of Myanmar must provide the adequate humanitarian assistance to Rohingya, Kamen and other Muslims refugees to resume their ordinary daily lives as other citizen of Myanmar do.

7. We appeal United States, ASEAN governments, United Nations and US human trafficking watch agencies to investigate the human traffickers including the Myanmar naval and coast guard officers along the coast of Rakhine, and bring the criminals to justice.

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Rohingya Exodus