Chandra Muzaffar: Asean must urge UN to end persecution of Rohingyas in Myanmar

Chandra Muzaffar: Asean must urge UN to end persecution of Rohingyas in Myanmar


PETALING JAYA: Asean can persuade the United Nations to end the persecution of Rohingyas in Myanmar, said International Movement for Just World (JUST) president Dr Chandra Muzaffar.

“Asean has a major role in persuading the five members of the Security Council if they want the UN to act on the atrocities in Myanmar.

“Their voice carries more weight as Myanmar is part of the Asean family,” he said at a recent forum ‘Plight of Muslims in Burma in the 21st Century: An Initiative for Solution and the Way Forward’ organised by the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia.

Dr Chandra said that the UN would be duty-bound to protect the Rohingya if the Security Council adopted a resolution that says they were victims of genocide.

He added that civil society group within Asean should pressure their governments to take a lead on these issues.

Dr Chandra said that although Myanmar appeared to be opening up to the international world, it was done within the backdrop of military rule.

“The root of the problem is the military regime which is cruel, harsh, brutal and barbaric,” he said.

The Rohingya are considered by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. They are considered to be stateless and are often subjected to arbitrary violence and forced labour.

University Malaya‘s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences visiting senior research fellow Dr Maung Zarni said that Asean should consider the genocide of Rohingya and the mass violence against Muslims in Myanmar as an issue of wide importance as there were regional consequences.

“Asean countries would be affected with the flow of refugees into their countries and the emergence of human trafficking gangs,” he said.

Dr Maung pointed out that eight people died in clashes between Buddhist and Muslim asylum seekers from Myanmar in a detention centre in Medan. Police also uncovered a plot to bomb the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta recently, he added.

“The Burmese government cannot say that Asean is interfering in their affairs,” he said.

As of April, there are almost 95,000 refugees and asylum-seekers from Myanmar registered with the UNHCR in Malaysia. An estimated 28,000 of them are Rohingya.

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