Statement on Communal Riots in Rakhine State, Myanmar
1. The news wrote in the Myanmar government’s newspapers on 5th June 2012, “Kalar Muslims”(Kalar is derogatory term for Muslim) deliberately assaulted cruelly on Rakhine women,” had started the instigation by cooking up the simple criminal case into a racial and religious hatred, leading to communal riots.
2. Current President’s office director, major Htay Zaw recklessly wrote fomented postings in his Hmu Zaw face book, repeatedly to incite the people; such as “Fully armed Rohingyas from Bengladesh have illegally invaded Myanmar”, “Don’t talk about empathy, Human Rights issues” and “To protect the lives of Rakhine people and the motherland is urgently facing security threat from illegal invader Bengalis”; which were not true.
3. The accusations and counteraccusations of both sides for attacking each other and the news of blatant lopsided unjust treatment from the various relevant authorities came out subsequently.
4. Repetitive and widespread attacks on so-called Illegal Immigrants as well as on the Islam and the Myanmar Muslims who are legally recognized by successive Union of Myanmar constitutions were subsequently ensued though out the country.
5. Although some local media and face books intentionally mixed up the Anti-Rohingya campaign with Anti-Muslim hate-propaganda, many international human rights organizations, ASEAN, international community, various countries, OIC, Muslims from other countries and UN etc. openly voiced their concern upon the news of assault and killing of minority Muslim Rohingyas.
6. At the same time, we heard the very dangerous threats and call for Jihad (religious war) on Myanmar by the radical Muslims from few countries.
7. We are sad that the instigation of the radicals had caused the Rakhine Communal Riots resulting in loss of properties and lives of the people from both sides. Those conflicts side-lined the Myanmar peoples’ desires such as: Human Rights, Democracy, stopping the civil war with the Ethnic Minorities, amending the constitution, releasing of the remaining prisoners of conscience and to protect the rights of workers and farmers. We are distressed to see these important political changes and improvements marginalized by the hardliners with the lame excuse of the National Security issue.
Therefore, we hereby clearly declare the views and stands of the Burma Muslim Association.
(a) All Ethnic Nationality and Citizenry problems including Rohingya issue must be discussed and decided at the conference participated by the government, political parties, all the people and Ethnic Minorities, local and foreign experts according to the Internationally acceptable standards and the vital interest of national security is safeguarded. (Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had stated in the Parliament that there is no proper exclusive definition for the word Ethnic Nationality in our constitution.)
(b) All the legal citizens regardless of race and religion must be equally protected by the existing laws of the country.
(c) Take strict action on Illegal Immigrants and those authorities who allowed them to enter illegally.
(d) Need to severely punish with the deterrent sentences to the instigators and rioters who committed the crimes during the commotion, irrespective of which side of the political and racial divide they were on.
(e) Get adequate help and aids promptly from local and foreign donors to rehabilitate and for reconciliation of the both sides of the suffered and shattered society.
(f) As Foreign Governments and International organizations’ worries are based on rumors because of the lack of freedom of press, government should allow the foreign press frees access if the government believes that it has nothing to hide.
(g) Government should form a commission for peaceful coexistence of citizens from different religions and races.
(h) We hereby strongly denounce all the incitation of Muslim Radicals who are exploiting the present difficulties. As Myanmar Muslims are always faithful loyal citizens of our beloved Myanmar country throughout the history, we clearly pronounce that we are ready to sacrifice our lives to defend our motherland hand-to-hand together with our brethren Myanmar Nationalities from any foreign racial and religious related intervention.
Myanmar (Burmese) Muslim Association
27 July 2012
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