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ARNO cautiously welcomes the Annan Commission on Arakan

Press Release 
August 29, 2016

ARNO cautiously welcomes the Annan Commission on Arakan

Arakan Rohingya National Organisation cautiously welcomes the formation of a nine-member Advisory Commission chaired by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Anan to find out lasting solutions to the issues in the Arakan/Rakhine State. 

“The situation of Rohingya people in Myanmar represents a global challenge for the entire international community”. It is encouraging that the Government of Myanmar, for the first time, appreciates the importance of efforts by international dignitaries like Nobel Laureate Kofi Annan and two other diplomats in resolving the long standing Rohingya problem of ethnic, religious and political persecution. 

The problem in Arakan is not an immigration issue, but systematic, deliberate and often brute forced removal of ethnic Rohingya from their ancestral homeland by organized use of intimidation, terror, rape, murder, destruction and other inhuman acts, under intolerant state policies, with a view to transforming the region into a close-knit homogenous Buddhist Rakhine territory. Decades of Rohingyas’ victimization in Myanmar, including the organized deadly violence occurred and reoccurred against them in Arakan from 2012, have not yet been properly and truthfully investigated. We hope the Annan Commission will leave no stone unturned in looking for an objective assessment. 

However, it remains a concern that no Rohingya of repute has been taken in the Commission whereas the two Buddhist Rakhines -- U Win Mra, Chair of the Myanmar Human Rights Commission who officially denied persecuting Rohingya, and Daw Saw Khin Tint who has publicly launched hate-mongering and Islamophobia campaigns and provocation against ethnic Rohingya -- are included in the 6 national members of the Commission. Nonetheless, the Commission:

1. Must ensure independent, impartial, full and effective investigation into all atrocity crimes, human rights violations and abuses against Rohingya and other minorities in Arakan and hold those responsible accountable under all relevant laws. 

2. Must ensure that all Rohingya victims of human rights violations and atrocity crimes, including the large numbers who have fled their homeland to escape persecution are given full and free access to effective mechanisms of justice and redress. 

3. Should recommend immediately lifting all the restrictions on the basic freedoms of Rohingya, including their freedom of movement and worship, and allowing them access to education, healthcare, political participation, right to marry, and the right to employment and property ownership, right to return to their original places and homes without obstruction. 

4. Must ensure reconciliation between the two sister communities of Rohingya and Rakhine in Arakan. 

Last but not least, The Rohingya are on the verge of total annihilation. It is too pressing to relieve their untold sufferings. It is imperative that the NLD-led Government has a political will to act upon the recommendations of Kofi Annan Commission.

For more details, please contact: 

Ronnie: Mob: +44-7783118354 
Ko Ko Linn: Mob: +880 1726068414

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