World must pay attention to Rohingyas persecution and killing: James Jennings
December 14, 2013
A political analyst tells Press TV that the issue about the Rohingyas is one of the most gravest problems that we see in the world today and these people are in need of protection and help.
This is while Thailand says it has intercepted a boat carrying 200 Myanmarese Rohingyas near the southwestern island of Phuket and has detained the refugees.
Press TV has conducted an interview with James Jennings, president of Conscience International, to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Why is it that the international community is not doing literally anything to stop the violence going on in Myanmar for over a year now?
Jennings: The fact is that the Rohingyas are among the most persecuted group of people in the world and also they are largely a stateless group because of the status of citizenship that not been awarded by Myanmar.
You must understand that there are several wars going on within Myanmar now including the Kachins in the north and the Karens in the south and of course the Rohingyas in the west.
I was in Myanmar in October and traveled the length of that country. The issue about the Rohingyas should be among the first issues in the world attention right now.
However it is certainly not the only place where there are people who are excluded from citizenship or statehood and of course the Palestinians would be among the most prominent of those groups and certainly among the most long-lasting issues.
But in Central Africa there are population groups that are excluded from one state or another. In Myanmar we have a particular problem that needs to be addressed as a problem for the citizenship of the Rohingyas who have been there for a very long time and the central government in Rangoon certainly should deal with that issue.
Press TV: What role can Myanmar's neighbors play in relieving the pain of these refugees because literally we see some of the neighbors such as Thailand literally rejecting those people fleeing the violence?
Jennings: It is true that in Bangladesh and also in Thailand and other places there have been rejections of the people and many of them have become “boat people” as we saw during the Vietnam War some thirty five, forty years ago and this is really an intolerable situation for the world community and the world conscious and the United Nations has weighed in on the issue but needs to do more.
It is one of the most gravest problems that we see in the world today and throughout Southeast Asia that has known many of these problems. These people are in need of protection and help, it does not look like that Rangoon is very interested although I did interview members of the commission who were studying that from Rangoon but the action has not been commensurate with the obvious concern that they have as well.