The Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia unequivocally condemns the ongoing persecution of the ethnic Rohingya population in Myanmar.
The defenseless Rohingya ethnic minority community is being subjected to barbaric acts of ethnic cleansing. Indeed, the violence of October – December 2016 is not an isolated event but part of a long-term campaign fueled by Buddhist religious fundamentalism and the racist definition of citizenship adopted by the Myanmar state.
We note that:
- The Burma Citizenship Law of 1982 deprived the Rohingya of all citizenship rights and reduced their status to stateless residents.
- ‘Operation Nagamin’, the military campaign was undertaken by the Myanmar government in 1978, resulted in over 200,000 Rohingya refugees fleeing to Bangladesh.
- The military operation launched in 1991, with the same official justification as ‘Operation Nagamin’, resulted in the displacement of 250,000 to Bangladesh.
- In 2012, state authorities, alongside Buddhist monks and local leaders, initiated a program of collective punishment against Rohingya Muslims with the result of over 100,000 Rohingya people being displaced.
- From October to December of 2016, more than that 21,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh to escape death, torture, and rape at the hands of Myanmar’s government.
The Alliance requests the Myanmar Government to amend or repeal the 1982 Citizenship Law, to facilitate the establishment of Rohingya citizenship status and allow the right of return of Rohingya refugees.
We request the Government of Bangladesh to forcefully seek a resolution of the issue on the international stage, to allow the refugee’s temporary residence and work outside of the camps until conditions allow the safe return home.
We request the UN help the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar bring to an end the dehumanization of the Rohingya population.
In a world very likely to be soon subjected to rising sea levels, widespread drought, floods and other yet unknown effects of climate destabilization, peaceful resolution of the Rohingya issue may set an example and a lesson of international cooperation that can help us all against the possible breakdown of all forms of civilization.
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