Indonesians urged to pray for and help prosecuted Rohingya

The Rohingya ethnic group living in Myanmars Rakhine State is one of the worlds most persecuted minority groups.

The United Nations (UN) has acknowledged the tragedy and the world was well aware of it, but Rohingya people have continued to suffer more and more.

Over 1,200 homes have been razed in villages inhabited by Muslim Rohingya minority living in the Buddhist-majority Myanmar in the past six weeks, the BBC said recently, quoting Human Rights Watch.

The group has released a batch of new satellite images that showed 820 structures destroyed between November 10 and 18.

The military is conducting security operations in Rakhine but the government denies it is razing homes.

A BBC correspondent on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border spoke to fleeing Rohingya families who described what was happening in northern Rakhine as “hell on earth.”

A total of 130 people have been killed in the latest surge of violence in the country, according to the Myanmar army.

Al Jazeera reported on November 17 that the bloodshed was the most serious since hundreds were killed in communal clashes in the western Myanmar state of Rakhine in 2012.

It has exposed a lack of oversight of the military by the seven-month-old administration of Suu Kyi.

Deeply concerned about the safety and wellbeing of Rohingya civilians, the United Nations entities on Nov 18 urged the Myanmar authorities to take immediate action to address humanitarian and human rights situation.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) urged the Myanmar Government to immediately allow humanitarian actors to resume life-saving activities for some 160,000 civilians, which were suspended on October 9.

“We are urging the government of Myanmar to ensure the protection and dignity of all civilians on its territory in accordance with the rule of law and its international obligations,” UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards told reporters at the regular news briefing in Geneva.

In Indonesia, Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin has called on Muslims in Indonesia, the worlds largest Muslim majority nation, to pray for Rohingya ethnic minority which has been suffering persecution by the Myanmar Buddhist community and authorities.

“We are all very concerned about the conflict. Hopefully, the number of victims would not continue to increase. Lets pray for them and those who died,” the minister pleaded in a statement recently.

The minister also offered himself to facilitate Islamic and Buddhist sides as well as academicians to help find a solution to the crisis faced by the Rohingya Muslim minority living in Rakhine State.

“We continue to closely monitor the developments in Rakhine. If needed, we are ready to help. I continuously coordinate with the Foreign Affairs Ministry which is spearheading the efforts to resolve the issue,” he commented.

The Indonesian government has not remained silent over the plight of Rohingya ethnic group in Myanmar, he claimed.

Indonesia has carried out several programs and provided humanitarian assistance, particularly for education and to extend medical services to Rakhine inhabitants, he noted.

Earlier, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi had also reiterated that Indonesia has been continuously keeping an eye on the conditions being faced by the Rohingya in Myanmar.

“We are monitoring closely all the developments concerning the Rohingya people,” Retno emphasized at the Presidential Palace.

She noted that the ministry has been consistently observing the developments in the region, and it is her duty to seek clarification regarding any information about the situation in Rakhine State.

“This morning, the director general of Asia Pacific and Africa held a meeting with Myanmars ambassador in Jakarta. Once again, we explained the situation to the Myanmar government, conveying all information about the situation in Rakhine State (Myanmar),” she added.

A deep concern over the situation in Rakhine State has also been voiced by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).

The Indonesian government must do something to help stop the tragedy in Myanmar, Muhyiddin Junaidi, chairman of the international affairs of the MUI, told Republika daily on Nov 21.

Its too late in the day for the Indonesian government to study the situation in Myanmar because there were already plenty of reports about the persecution of Rohingya people, he pointed out.

Meanwhile, the Association of the Alumni of the University of Indonesia (ILUNI UI) has urged the Indonesian government to ask Myanmar to stop the systematic persecution of the Rohingya ethnic group.

“Indonesia, as the largest nation in ASEAN, should have used the regional grouping to convince Myanmar to stop this persecution and to find a comprehensive, peaceful and dignified solution to the Rohingya problem,” Arief Budhy Hardono, ILUNI UI Chairman, said in a statement.

Indonesia and Myanmar are both members of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Hardono demanded that the Myanmar government must stop this repression and begin cessation of hostilities by recognizing the Rohingya ethnic group as citizens that have the right to protection.

“We also strongly condemn the systematic persecution,” he said.

Besides, the international community must demand the Myanmar government to be responsible and respect human rights.

“It can start taking action by first revoking the Nobel Prize awarded to Aung San Suu Kyi,” he noted.

A similar view was voiced by a youth Muslim organization called Hizbullah, who has condemned the murders of tens of Rohingya Muslims, and asked for revocation of the Myanmar leaders Nobel Prize.

“Barbaric massacres committed by the Myanmar military against Rohingya children, women and men are crimes against humanity that cannot be tolerated. Therefore, we strongly condemn the Myanmarese military and government for the cruelty,” Hizbullah chairman, M Anshorullah, said on Nov 21.

The Myanmar government has clearly committed a systematic genocide, something obviously against world peace, he remarked.

Source: Antara News