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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Australian Burmese Rohingya Organization joined the Australian Myanmar Institute March Seminar

by Admin,

Australian Burmese Rohingya Organization joined the Australian Myanmar Institute March Seminar at William Macmahon Ball Theatre, Ground Floor of Old Arts Building at Parkville, The University of Melbourne on 27th March 2017.

The seminar update on "the Rakhine conflict and ‘Rohingya’ issues"
A series of issues have been raised including the ongoing humanitarian crisis, the inquiry commissions, citizenship issues, and solution. 


In the last few months, UN agencies, Nobel Peace Prize laureates and even the Pope have all condemned violence against the Rohingya. Accusations of state crimes, crimes against humanity and even genocide have been common. Three Investigation Commissions have been convened by the government, military and policy respectively, and former UN Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan has been appointed to lead one. This update will examine what has happened, the current situation and try to begin to understand why is it happening … and consider where next, taking account of all perspectives.
Speakers include:
Dr Anthony Ware, Senior Lecturer in International and Community Development from Deakin University will present “An update on the Rakhine conflict and Rohingya’ issues”
Also providing discussion will be:
Dr Costas Laoutides, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Deakin University, and co-author with Anthony of “Myanmar’s ‘Rohingya’ Conflict”

Mr Ronan Lee, PhD candidate (Deakin University),

Mr Habiburahman,(well known as Habib) Spokesperson and founder of Australian Burmese Rohingya Organization (ABRO), Habib is co-author of Nous, les Innommables – Un tabou birman.
Anthony and Costas are co-authors of the soon-to-be released book Myanmar’s ‘Rohingya’ Conflict.
For more information about AMI, please visit: aummi.edu.au/
Our special appreciation may go for AMI, organizers, facilitators, speakers and all attendants. 

Saturday, 25 March 2017

UN rights council passes resolution to investigate abuses in Myanmar

Source Just.org, 24 April

[JURIST] The United Nations Human Rights Council [official website] passed a resolution [materials] Friday to investigate potential human rights violations in Myanmar. The fact-finding mission will be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council with the purpose of establishing the facts and circumstances of the alleged human rights violations [UN report] by military and security forces. The resolution calls for Myanmar to continue its efforts to eliminate the statelessness and discrimination of ethnic and religious minorities, such as the Rohingya minority. The resolution also calls for the government of Myanmar to take measures to ensure a return of all the refugees who had to leave Myanmar that is safe, secure, and in accordance with international law. In response to the resolution, Myanmar said that they were committed to finding a solution to the situation in the Rakhine State, but the country disassociated itself from the draft as a whole.


This resolution comes after the UN Special Rapporteur, Yanghee Lee, on March 14th called for [JURIST report] an international investigation into the crimes against humanity allegedly committed by the Myanmar government against the Rohingya minority population. In February, Lee called for [JURIST report] Myanmar to end the persecution of the Rohingya minority. Also in February, Myanmar officials stated [JURIST report] that they would investigated alleged police crimes against Rohingya Muslims. Furthermore, earlier in February, the Human Rights Watch endorsed [JURIST report] an investigation into the abuses against the Rohingya population, specifically the sexual abuses against women. In January, a prominent Muslim lawyer was shot and killed [JURIST report] outside an airport in Myanmar, which led to condemnation from a UN expert on the human rights situation in the country. Earlier in January, the UN sent an envoy [JURIST report] to assess the human rights situation with regards to vulnerable minority populations in Myanmar.
Posted in Paper Chase

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Springvale bank fire: Asylum seekers' lives precarious, say advocates

Source Theage, 20 Nov
They live on little more than $30 a day. Many speak little English and are not permitted to find permanent work.
Asylum seekers on bridging visas in Australia live a precarious existence, and most live with the anxiety of uncertainty for years.
Sister Brigid Arthur, co-coordinator of the Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project, said she worried for the welfare of all involved in Friday's Commonwealth Bank fire at Springvale, in Melbourne's south-east.
But she called for compassion for the alleged attacker Nur Islam, saying government policies had "put people's lives on hold, not given them any kind of certainty or security about their future, and has them living in poverty and isolation".
Mr Islam, 21, a member of Myanmar's persecuted Rohingya minority, came to Australia by boat as an unaccompanied minor.
He is on a bridging visa after spending time on Christmas Island and at a detention centre in Queensland.
Sister Brigid said many Rohingya arrive traumatised after persecution. They speak little English and many are unable to find work.
Mental health problems were exacerbated by "huge anxiety" for the future, with some yet to receive a letter from the federal government inviting them to apply for asylum. 
Even then, it could take years to process their application, to decide whether they can stay or be deported.
The government had removed most legal funding, so asylum seekers relied on pro bono help. 
Asked what life is like for asylum seekers, Sister Brigid said: "I think extremely precarious. They suffer a lot of isolation, they are poor because they get 89 per cent of Newstart for an income to live on, not much more than $30 a day." 
Friends of Mr Islam and members of Melbourne's Rohingya community told Fairfax Media that nothing could justify the unprovoked arson attack last Friday. 
But while the refugee had become increasingly erratic over the past few months, there were few signs of an impending tragedy as Mr Islam ate fish curry with his six Myanmarese house mates last Thursday evening.
One of Mr Islam's friends said he was under mounting strain after being asked by his family to send money back to Myanmar to finance an older sister who was recently hospitalised.
Founder of the Australian Burmese Rohingya Organisation, Habib, said more than 90 per cent of community remained on bridging visas – some for as long as four years. 
Few were willing to discuss their frustrations over fears they could jeopardise their applications for permanent residency.
"The government policy keeps changing all the time, which is causing uncertainty," Mr Habib said.
"Most of us want to just settle and begin our new lives, but we are in legal limbo."
Mr Habib last met with Mr Islam about three weeks ago at a Springvale restaurant and occasionally saw him at a mosque in Noble Park. 
Usually referred to by his nickname Habib Nga Dat Byar, Mr Islam was unsettled and had few friends, according to Mr Habib.
"We can only guess what sort of mental state he was in, but obviously his problems had nothing to do with the bank or the innocent customers," he said.
Fadak Alfayadh​, advocacy director for Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees, said the alleged Springvale culprit may not be a bad person.
She said constant rejections could "push people to breaking point", with asylum seekers having to cope with financial, employment, housing, legal and health problems, as well as anxiety over their visa status.
Ms Alfayadh has seen comments on social media "saying that maybe we should impose a ban on refugees because, 'see what they do', but people don't understand what that person went through." 
David Manne, executive director of free legal service Refugee Legal, said we shouldn't jump to conclusions about what caused Friday's tragedy.
We should seek to understand "what's led to this, and also what measures could be put in place for people who do reach a point of such desperation".
"The pressures people are under with this [applying for asylum] process are immense."
Mr Manne said asylum seekers lived "every day with this profound uncertainty about the future" but the erosion of their rights and the increasingly punitive aspects have "only added to the immense pressure people are under".
For help, call Lifeline 131 114, beyondblue 1300 224 636, SuicideLine 1300 651 251 or MensLine 1300 789 978.

Monday, 24 October 2016

A Memorandum to Burmese Embassy in Canberra, Australia

by admin, 

Today, we staged a demonstration in front of Burmese embassy in Canberra in the present of Australian Federal Police (AFP).



It was started from 9.30am and taken one hour long by reading 3 pages of statement by Habib and slogans by Min Min


Demonstration was joined by about 60 Rohingyas collectively from Melbourne and Sydney.



Usually, No staff from the embassy came out to take our memorandum but it was given to an AFP officer who will be handing over to the embassy..
...........................
our memorandum is as below:

We, ABRO would like to raise serious concern over recent arbitrary mass killing and slaughtering about 100 Rohingyans and ongoing arrests and force confession from Maungdaw township, keeping the Rakhine (Arakan) humanitarian crises alive, allowing to carry out genocidal attacks and various operations, vigilant racial attacks, continuously locking down about 150,000 Rohingyas and Kamans in ghetto type concentration camps across 42 locations and confining the rest about a million in their villages from June 2012, mass destruction of historical evidences and religious buildings, forceful expulsion, blocking aid and food supply, prohibit livelihood and compelling to die from starvation, denying their right to have rights such as medicare, education, relocation and movement, seizing and destroying residential documents and forcing to accept foreigner identity and not allowing to recourse under new citizenship act. .

After recent attacks carried out by unknown armed gangs on border police in Kyiganbyin, police outpost in Kotankauk, and local police office in Nhakhuya where equal members of causality occurred from both sides, the government forces instantly taken intentional steps of retaliation to annihilate the Maungdaw township resident Rohingyans from 9 Oct 2016 under the so call 'Land Clearing Operation' (Nay Myay Chin Linn Yay).
In this operation, about 100 Rohiongya involving women, children and elderly people from 11 different locations were closely shot dead, slaughtered in cool blood by military and security forces. Many of those taken away by security and military forces were also found in a mass grave with their hands tied that cleared how they been brutally killed. Additionally, gang rapes of teens by those taken away by authorities, looting goods and cash, extortion, expulsion from villages and blocking of food supply, are also recorded.

An estimated about 5,000 people have been displaced and now shelter-less after about 700 houses and livestocks in Wabaik hamlet of Kyiganpyin village, Kyet Yoe Pyin village tract, Nga Sa Kyu village tract and Ngan Chaung village tract, were burn down by security and military forces.
Despite the government officially denounced the armed gang insurgent for attacks and torching of houses, it actually government forces who shot civilians and torching of houses that were captured in the photos.



Despite Ms. Suu Kyi told its authorities to deal those arrestees by lawfully and requested not to compete by forces between government forces and armed groups, it is practically different on the ground. Her government does not enhance her authorities to act lawfully, nor taking action onto officials those involved in arbitrary and lawless killings, and for committing physical abuses.
Yet, Ms. Suu Kyi did not confirm the attacks but her presidential office's official statements and Burmese news agencies widely spreading reverse information by linking the attacker armed group with non-existing foreign group and fabricating false news, evidences and implicating Rohingya community.

It has been over four years now Rohingyas and Kamans of Rakhine (Arakan) state are totally excluded from Burma and trapped into the worst part of human tragic such as APARTHEID, SLAVERY & RACISM, EXTERMINATION.. For decades, Rohingyas have been oppressed, victimized and terrorized by the both government authorities and extremist Rakhine people that been recorded commonly in 1942, 1949 1967, 1978, 1991,1994/95, 2002 and the latest state sponsor genocide began from June 2012.
From 8 of June 2012, total destruction across (13) different townships of Arakan state, reached at (97) mosques, about (23,000) houses from (95) villages, killing thousands Rohingyans and Kamans and nearly 200,000 people displaced of whom about (110,000) people are in 13 to 15 camps of Sittwe (Akyab) city and the rest about (65,000) those from other 8 regions in 26 camps are in aid workers unreachable areas, and number of arbitrary detention reached at least 12,00 Rohingyas and Kaman muslims mainly from Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Sittwe townships.
In Burma there are so many organizations including Red Cross Society, Healthcare clinic but all are puppet bodies of terror government and not delivering services for Arakanese muslims. While Rakhine children are freely attending the government schools, the Rohingya youths those teaching Rohingya kids, distributing rations, Rohingyan language support workers, providing medical assistance in the camps, are instantly targeted by local authorities. So, many Rohingya youths have continued to flee into neighbouring countries. Government authorities pretend unable to interfere in local matters and also instantly blocking aid delivery and medical treatment for displaced Rohingya and Kaman victims..

The ousted Thein Sein government pretended to be uncontrollable and allowed to spread across central Burma therefore the attacks carried out in 26 locations of 8 different states that destroyed thousands of houses, killing hundreds of people, displaced more than 20,000 people.
Despite the Thein Sein government has characterized the events as 'communal violence, it was a well plan and the government’s involvement and contributions into the crisis were very obvious.
The latest target on Rohingya in Maungdaw township from 9 Oct 2016, is actually another propaganda to divert international attention on genocide and atrocities committed by government forces.

As we aware, the current central ruler of NLD has been following the same footpaths and tactics of the past regimes that keep routinely attacking of ethnic minorities such as Chin, Karen, Kachin, Shan and Rohingya.
When there are double numbers of government armed forces presenting in minority areas, and still carrying out attacks, the minorities lost hopes and the number of armed ethnic group from repression is yet to be grown in the future because it is only option to protect their respective own people and lands from aggressive military operations, tyrant abuses and genocide. However sadly, the people who are protecting own people from genocidal attacks are branded as insurgency or guerilla by central ruler government and Burmese news agencies.

Historically, the past government and now latest NLD, all of them have actually no strategy for peace, nor taken workable steps to bring peace and build trust with ethnic armed groups, But they are records of breaking ceasefire agreements and aggressive and offensive attacks thru waging wars and physical tortures over civilians that account for crimes against humanity.
The fact is that, the late NLD government's failure or not yet marched forward to achieve genuine cease fire, reconciliation with minorities and restoration of genuine federal democracy system. But, NLD re-conciliated with military and kept her military in power so that minority areas and their issues kept under military control.
NLD leader Ms. Suu Kyi forgiving military generals' the past crimes and now again favouring through achieving lifting blacklist of its generals.

We strongly urge Ms. Suu Kyi who is above the president of the country and led the NLD government and its authorities to uphold its afore said rules of laws and respect the dignity and rights of the entire population regardless of race, religion and colour and to ensure a free, fair and equal justice system is available to all.
NLD leader Ms. Suu Kyi has not yet condemns it militarily attacks on minorities, not yet achieved release of a single muslim political prisoner and yet to outline its plan on minorities.

NLD government must also install laws and orders to equally guarantee safety and security of the entire people of Burma. The NLD government must immediately halt all forms of ongoing persecution, oppression, restriction, segregation and vigilante attacks against minority groups; particularly the Rohingya and Kaman from Arakan state of western Burma.
The NLD government must take immediate action to prevent ongoing campaigns of racial hatred organised by radical groups, such as the ultra-nationalist Buddhist group MaBaTha (969) Association, which is supported by some politicians, ex-generals and their family members, along with some Yangon-based Rakhine people.

We are also disappointed to see NLD government and its authorities are forcing Rohingya and Kaman people to accept foreigner identity, seizing and destroying their residential documents and not allowing to recourse to become new citizenship even under 1982 citizenship act.
Practically, it is not the 1982-citizenship laws that stripped off citizenship but the authority who are intentionally reluctant to access the Rohingya's historical existence and ancestral evidence that prove primary evidence earlier than prior to 1824. The fact is that after British occupation of Arakan in1824, the repatriated Rohingya war victims of 1784 and 1794 Burman king invasion of Arakan, were miscounted as British era settlers by central rulers.
Like in 1978 and 1992, after drove out of Rohingyans and Kamans from their ancestral homelands, the authorities tactically started collection of data and those forcefully repatriated under bilateral agreement were branded as Bengali so it could be accounted by exclusion of Rohingya into national census as a creation official evidence for national population history.

We also would like to urge the UN and its member countries including countries those have business ties with Burma to join together in taking effective actions onto Burma's central ruler NLD government and it authorities to abide by domestic and international laws.

We, ABRO therefore demands the following:
1) UN to use force to restore peace and stability in minority areas including in Arakan state.
2) UN to use force to immediately suspend blockage of food and aid supply and grand special power to aid agencies to enable to supply food and aid on the ground freely.
3) UN to effectively pressurise onto central ruler government to immediately lift all kinds restrictions.
4) UN to monitor central ruler NLD government and its armed forces to abide by domestic and international laws.
5) To stop forcing and pressuring of Rohingya and Kaman to accept foreigner identity.
6) Immediately release of muslim political prisoners from central Burma and thousand of Rohingya prisoners mostly detained in Sittwe Central Jail, Buthidaung Jail and many other who are detained in police lock-up and military camps.

Thankfully,
ABRO

For more information, please contact;

Russel : 0438 524935 (Melbourne)
Habib: 0406 310077 (Melbourne)
Mohammed Amin: 0411 456400 (Melbourne)
Shujawuddin: 0411 378204 (Brisbane)
Sayad Kassim: 0423 764858 (Sydney)
Mohammad Sadek: +(60) 16 3094599 (Malaysia)
Maung Kyaw Nu: +(66) 98 842 0459 (Thailand)

Kyaw Soe Aung: +(1) 414 643 8001 (U.S.A)