Archives for posts with tag: RakhineState

Clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists & Rohingya Muslims, first occurring  in June 2012, affected hundreds of thousands of families in Rakhine. Mr. Nambiar met with the President, Foreign Minister, other senior officials, & spoke with diplomats & members of political parties, representatives of ethnic armed groups, civil society, aid agencies, women & youth organizations.

Myanmar: UN Welcomes Establishment of Probe into Recent Attacks on Aid Workers

Will the Myanmar/Burma Government follow through for Rohingya and other ethnic minorities? Actions speak louder than words. Let us pray and hope this is a step in the right direction to ending genocide.

For Myanmar Muslim Minority, No Escape from Brutality

For Myanmar Muslim Minority, No Escape from Brutality – Saturday, NY Times
No, this is not a holding pen for pigs but camp used by traffickers for Rohingya fleeing by boat – Thailand is the way station where the Rohingya, denied citizenship in Myanmar by national law, arrive on fishing boats.

Ban on Doctors Without Borders Imperils Muslim Rohingya Minority in Myanmar

Silence to a GENOCIDE: Western donors & UN say they are reluctant to antagonize government of Myanmar, which has started along path of economic & political reform. Donors have chosen quiet diplomacy over outspoken criticism of government’s policies toward Rohingya.

UN Human Rights Expert Highlights Remaining Challenges in Myanmar

“Rule of law cannot yet be said to exist in Myanmar,” expert said, adding current situation in Rakhine state – scene of waves of Buddhist-Muslim violence – still represents a particular obstacle & a threat to the reform process.

UNHCR is lead agency for shelter, camp coordination, management & protection in humanitarian response in Rakhine state, Myanmar. Current priority is to provide temporary relief for displaced during rainy season.


Rohingya Muslims are fleeing violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. They are the land’s despised minority not wanted in Myanmar and not welcomed by Southeast Asia neighbors. Many take their chances on the open sea. Many are turned away, and many drown as the world silently watches.  The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) today appealed to Southeast Asia governments to open borders. This month, the Bay of Bengal witnessed sinking boats and more drownings are expected as an increasing number of internally displaced Rohingya Muslims flee in fear, desperation, and hope for a better future.

UN News Centre Source

“We are calling on countries in the region to strengthen burden-sharing in the face of this growing humanitarian emergency – we stand ready to support states in assisting and protecting these individuals,” the chief spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Melissa Fleming, told journalists in Geneva today.

According to UNHCR, an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 people set out into the Bay of Bengal from Myanmar during the previous sailing season, from October 2011 to March 2012. Each year, the sailing season sees a mix of asylum-seekers and irregular migrants risk their lives on fishing boats in the hope of finding safety and a better life elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

Ms. Fleming said UNHCR was “seriously concerned” at the recent boat tragedies in the Bay of Bengal, involving people fleeing insecurity and violence in Myanmar. In the last two weeks, there have been reports of two boats sinking off western Myanmar with an estimated 240 people on board – among them, Rohingya from Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

The north of Rakhine state has been the site of inter-communal violence over recent months. The violence first began in June, with clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, which eventually led the Government to declare a state of emergency there. The violence reportedly left at least a dozen civilians dead and hundreds of homes destroyed, while internally displacing some 75,000 people.
Since then, at least 89 people have been killed and 35,000 displaced in the wake of a renewed upsurge in violence, beginning in late September, which also left more than 5,300 houses and religious buildings destroyed, according to UN estimates.

Ms. Fleming said the refugee agency cannot confirm any figures in relation to casualties from the reported sinkings “as we have no presence near the wreck sites, but available information is that more than 40 people have been rescued from the two boats.” She noted that there were reports of bodies seen floating in the water.

While calling on other states to keep their borders open, the UN refugee agency is also alarmed by reports of countries either pushing back boats from their shores or helping them on to another country.
“We are appealing to these governments to uphold their long tradition of providing humanitarian aid to refugees instead of shifting the responsibility to another state,” Ms. Fleming said.

The UN refugee agency is urging the Government of Myanmar to take urgent action to address some of the main factors prompting people to take to the sea, Ms. Fleming added, especially issues connected with the problem of citizenship and statelessness in relation to the Rohingyas in Rakhine state. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has previously urged the authorities in Myanmar to take action to bring an end to the lawlessness currently affecting the state.

Looking back several years ago, Myanmar’s Ambassador to Singapore was quoted as describing the Rohingya as “ugly as ogres,” that they didn’t look anything like Burmese, being darker. In casting out these internally displaced refugees only to drown at sea, are Rohinya Muslims facing ethnic cleansing?

By, Susan Sacirbey

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