Thousands of New Rohingya Refugees Have Arrived in Bangladesh Since Oct. 15: UN

2017-10-17
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Rohingya refugees carry a woman over a shallow canal after crossing the Naf River as they flee violence in Myanmar to reach Bangladesh in Palongkhali near Ukhia, Oct. 16, 2017.
Rohingya refugees carry a woman over a shallow canal after crossing the Naf River as they flee violence in Myanmar to reach Bangladesh in Palongkhali near Ukhia, Oct. 16, 2017.
AFP

As many as 15,000 new Rohingya refugees entered Bangladesh since Sunday, U.N. officials said Tuesday, as new satellite imagery showed “tens of thousands of structures, primarily homes inhabited by ethnic Rohingya Muslims” had been burned in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

But authorities in southeastern Bangladesh, which has borne the brunt of the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis, said many more new arrivals – about 40,000 refugees – had crossed over from Myanmar within the past 72 hours.

An analysis of newly released satellite images revealed 288 Rohingya villages were targeted in arson attacks in Rakhine since Aug. 25, and 66 of those villages were burned after Myanmar officials claimed the military’s “clearance operations” in Rakhine state had ceased in early September, Human Rights Watch reported Tuesday.

Some newcomers said they had escaped Rakhine amid a critical food shortage, which, they alleged, was forced upon their minority-Muslim community by the military.

“We had been almost starving, along with our kids, for a long time,” refugee Md Islam, 45, a resident of a village in Buthidaung township told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

“[W]e were almost confined in our houses for days after days. Panic gripped our life. How long could we survive in such a situation?”

His family ran out of food and all the local markets had been shut since the Myanmar army and Rakhine Buddhist militia targeted his village in attacks, he said.

“Inhuman torture is going on in Rakhine,” fellow refugee Abdur Rashid told BenarNews, adding that the “Myanmar army has been creating an artificial food crisis” to “force Rohingya to flee.”

Another Rohingya from Buthidaung, Md Alam, told BenarNews he and others had trekked through hills, fields and marshes for the past 10 days “to come to Bangladesh for survival.”

‘Stranded’

On Tuesday, international aid agencies sharply revised upward their overall estimate for the number of Rohingya refugees who have fled to southeastern Bangladesh amid a cycle of violence in Rakhine that broke out on Aug. 25.

About 582,000 Rohingya refugees have crossed into Bangladesh since late August, the U.N. and international humanitarian agencies reported.

“Around 40,000 Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh through [border points] of Ukhia in three days,” Md Ali Hossain, the deputy commissioner of Cox’s Bazar district, which encompasses the sub-district of Ukhia, told BenarNews.

Speaking in Geneva, U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) spokesman Andrej Mahecic said the latest arrivals, numbering 10,000 to 15,000 people were stranded near Anjuman Para village in Ukhia. Many told relief workers they had walked for a week to reach Bangladesh after their villages were set on fire.

“As of this morning they are still squatting in the paddy fields of Anjuman Para village in Bangladesh,” he said. “They are waiting for permission to move away from the border, where the sound of gunfire continues to be heard every night from the Myanmar side.”

Malaysia calls for ‘safe zone’

Also on Tuesday, Malaysia’s deputy prime minister told Malaysian media the government would propose that the U.N. Security Council adopt a resolution to create a U.N.-monitored “safe zone” so hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees could return to Myanmar unharmed.

As he wrapped up a two-day visit to Bangladesh during which he toured a refugee camp in the southeast, Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Ahmad Hamidi announced some Malaysian government proposals aimed at alleviating the refugee crisis stemming from violence across the border in Rakhine state.

These include proposing “to the United Nations for the region to be made a security zone …,” Malaysia’s state news agency Bernama quoted Zahid as saying.

“Maybe U.N. Security Council members can raise this matter for it to be made a resolution so that finally when the Rohingya return, there is a U.N. monitoring team there in place,” he said.

Zahid’s statement followed similar comments made by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during a speech before the United Nations General Assembly in September, when she called for creating U.N.-supervised safe zones inside Myanmar to protect Rohingya Muslims from further violence.

Malaysia, which has been cleared by Bangladesh to build a 100-bed field hospital in Cox’s Bazar to treat sick or injured Rohingya refugees, also will assign a special attaché to its embassy in Dhaka to help coordinate humanitarian assistance to the refugees, Zahid said.

“Malaysia believes that the Rohingya humanitarian crisis needs to be settled through regional cooperation, especially among ASEAN countries,” he added, according to Malaysia’s Star newspaper.

“Although Myanmar is an ASEAN member, we want to make it clear that the Rohingya issue transcends geographical borders,” he said, adding, “We have no wish to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, but it should be understood that the Rohingya issue is a regional problem.”

‘Efforts must be scaled up’

Bangladesh and humanitarian agencies have been struggling to accommodate and provide basic services for the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled northern Rakhine during a military crackdown following deadly attacks on 30 police posts and an army facility on Aug. 25.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a militant group, claimed responsibility for the attacks as well as for deadly smaller-scale raids on three border guard stations in October 2016.

Myanmar authorities have rejected widespread international criticism that their security forces targeted Rohingya civilians in atrocities such as killings, rapes and the burning of villages. They have blamed ARSA insurgents for the violence.

On Monday, the European Union announced it was reviewing military cooperation with Myanmar, as the bloc called on Myanmar to bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes against the Rohingya.

Meanwhile, three top U.N. officials, including the heads of UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration, issued a joint statement urging the international community to raise U.S. $434 million quickly to deal with “the major humanitarian emergency” unfolding in southeast Bangladesh.

“The efforts must be scaled up and expanded to receive and protect refugees and ensure they are provided with basic shelter and acceptable living conditions,” the officials said Monday.

Reported by BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

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Mohamed Haroon

from Maung Daw

Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO)
Press release 15 October 2017

How Long You Lie To Deny Rohingya Existence

We strongly condemn the remarks of Myanmar Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing to American Ambassador Scot Marciel.

On 11 October the General said, “Rohingya are Bengali. The Bengalis were not taken into the country by Myanmar but by the colonialists. British colonialists were responsible for the problem. Their native place is really Bengal. They might have fled to the other country (Bangladesh) with the same language, race and culture as theirs, assuming they would be safer there. They are not the natives and the records prove that they were not even called Rohingya but just Bengalis during the colonial period.”

But the historical evidence or observation by Scottish doctor Francis Buchanan in 1795 proves “... Mohammedans, who have long been settled in Arakan, and who called themselves Rooinga, or natives of Arakan” The former Democratic government of Burma headed by Prime Minister U Nu had recognized Rohingya as an ethnic group of Burma equal to all other ethnic nationalities of the country. On top of that, as a people, the Rohingya have the UN-recognized group's right to self-identify.

We remind Myanmar civil and military leaders that the true history of Arakan must be studied with minus Bama/Myanmar if they sincerely want to know the Rohingya historicity. Arakan was an independent country for centuries having extensive relations with Bengal (not with Burma) in all fields, political, ethnological, cultural and economic activities. It was Muslims who paid extraordinary contribution to the development of Arakan, with their sublime civilization, towards advancement of administration, literature, agriculture and economic activities.
We emphasize that the ancient people of Arakan were Indian Bengalis and the language then used had no connection with the present Rakhine, who have been largely Burmanized in language, culture and life style. Here the root cause of the problem in Arakan is the Burman annexation of it. That is why the Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen said, “Rohingya did not come to Burma. But the Burma came to Rohingya”.

We reiterate that Arakan is our ancestral homeland, where Muslim rule and influence lasted for centuries particularly during the glorious period of Mrauk-U dynasty (1430-1784). Followings are some of the realities of Arakan.

Arakan was virtually ruled by Muslims from 1430 to 1531.(Statement of Col. Ba Shin, the then Chairman of the Burma Historical Commission)
Islam spread and deeply rooted in Arakan since 8th century from where it further spread into interior Burma”. (Sasana Ronwas Htunzepho, a book published by military regime in 1997)
The Mrauk dynasty was a new golden age of power and prosperity with hybrid Buddhist-Islamic court, fusing tradition from Persia and India as well as the Buddhist worlds to the east.
Muslim etiquettes and manners, system of administration copying the imperial courts of Delhi and Guar had been practiced. Taslim or Muslim salutation was performed in the king’s palace.
The Muslim played the phenomenal rule of kingmakers with Muslim Prime Ministers, Lashkar Wizirs (Defence/War Ministers), and Ministers, Qadis, other administrators and large contingents of Muslim army.
The kings had involuntarily as well as voluntarily to adopt Muslim names and titles “Shah” “in addition to Pali names and titles. Mrauk-U kings appeared in Persian-inspired dress and the conical hats of Isfahan and Mughal Delhi.
Members of the Royal families and class of persons enjoying superior intellectual or social or economic status also willingly adopted Muslim names.
Muslim Qazi courts had been set up throughout the kingdom of Arakan.
Persian and Bengali languages were patronized and used as the official and court languages of Arakan.
Coins and medallions inscribing kalima (Islamic declaration of faith) in Persian and Arabic script were minted.
The people followed the Muslim tradition at home. Buddhist women of those days practiced “purda”.

Muslim missionary works hit the highest point. People converted into Islam in groups.
Muslims were in control of trade and business. They were the main forces of agriculture.

For more details, please contact:
Australia: Dr. Hla Myint + 61-423381904
Bangladesh: Ko Ko Linn: + 880-1726068413
Canada: Nur Hasim +1-519-5725359
Japan: Zaw Min Htut + 81-8030835327
U.K. Ronnie: +44-7783118354
U.S.A: Dr. Habibullah: +1-4438158609

Email: info@rohingya.org
www.rohingya.org

Oct 19, 2017 09:34 AM

Cliff

Buddhist Rakhine, Burmese Government and Burmese security force are not responsible and not involved in self-identified Rohingya Bengali Muslim departing Rakhine State. Burmese authority has offered Rice, Oil, Bean and salt to all peoples who were affected by Rakhine conflict as well as medical treatment and security. They are only eager to go to Bangladesh because of threatening by the Islamic terrorist group the ARSA and urging from friends and relatives in Bangladesh. The UN and other Western Government is calling for stop military operation in Northern Rakhine State was proof they were not investigation of the actual situation in Rakhine state because there’s no military operation Rakhine state. Burmese Government has no controlled over self-identified Rohingya Bengali Muslims and they are leaving Rakhine state for Bangladesh was their decision and wished. They must stop blaming everything on Burmese Government for Rohingya Bengali Muslims’ problem.
The UN monitors Safe Zone for Bengali Muslim in northern Rakhine State, Burma won’t be happening now and future. The Islamic terrorist the ARSA simulating attacks on 30 Border Guard Posts was calculated well prepared and well planned and well organized by Muslim groups. The leaders of Islamic organization believing they can establish a UN monitor Safe Zone for Bengali Muslims in Rakhine State by attacking on Border Guard Posts and destabilize in Rakhine State. They can’t hide their dirty plan and Burmese Government and Military know their plan for to establish a Safe Zone for Bengali Muslims and then later, they will declare an independent Islamic state in the future. Buddhist Burmese belief in Karma. The Karma will decide the peoples’ fate. If you do good deeds and then you will get good Karma. If you do bad deeds and then you're bad Karma returns to you. The truth will come up one day and peoples must accept the truth and honest.
God sees the truth, but wait.

Oct 18, 2017 03:49 PM

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