Burma Times Desk Report: May 26, 2015
The OIC special envoy to Myanmar, Dr Syed Hamid Albar has called for urgent action to tackle the Rohingya crisis.
Speaking at the Oslo Conference to End Myanmar’s Systematic Persecution, Dr Albar vividly described the horrors of Rohingya life in Burma saying, “I like all of us to remember, today we can sleep sheltered and safe tonight without the threat of a mob breaking down our doors or burning our homes. However, the Rohingya who also share this world with us are denied these fundamental rights, and suffer on a scale that no human must be allowed to suffer, especially children, women and elderly people.”
He said that past history has proved that this is not always the case and the two communities can co-exist in harmony. “It is with patience, tolerance, kindness, that we can break this cycle. In the intelligence as well as diplomatic world we must be able to read the minds of the people we are negotiating with and devise our strategies accordingly,” he said.
Dr Albar said that the argument that Rohingyas are illegal immigrants has no basis whatsoever.
The OIC envoy noted with alarm the rise of Buddhist nationalist movements.
The conditions in Burma and their rejection in Bangladesh have forced Rohingyas, to undertake a risky sea journey to South East Asian countries in rickety boats, where they have fallen prey to criminal rings. As a result, the entire region is facing a crisis that has arisen out of Myanmar’s policy, he noted. He then said that the overall situation in Burma and the refusal of much of the populace to accept Rohingyas as their fellow citizens means that the exodus will continue.
Dr Albar mentioned that the participation of Bangladeshis in the exodus has however created an immigration threat and as a result the boat people are not welcome in South East Asia.
Calling on the regime to address the roots of persecution of Rohingya Muslims in their country, he said, “The Government of Myanmar should be held responsible and to undertake concrete and positive steps to put an end to all acts of violence, human rights violations and discriminatory policies against the Rohingya, such actions will only tarnish Myanmar’s image and acceptability in the region and internationally,” he added.
He however said, that with “cautious optimism, patience and perseverance there is a fair chance of resolving the issue.”