Recent weeks have witnessed horrific events in Myanmar. Mobs have targeted the Rohingya population, resulting in the brutal murder of scores of Rohingya and displacement of tens of thousands of children, women, and men. Appallingly, the Myanmar military leadership has labelled Rohingyas as an ethnic and religious minority not deserving of full protection as citizens. Neighbouring Bangladesh behaves most callously, forcing thousands to live in hiding or squalid refugee settlements along the border.
This situation is intolerable for all those committed to universal human rights, including secure lives and prosperous livelihoods.
We demand of the people and government of Myanmar to abide by the international consensus on the rights of people. Having suffered under oppressive, military rule for decades, the people of Myanmar well know of the terror afflicted by the absence of democracy. Only through full and sincere protection of all residents as equal citizens would Myanmar commit adherence to desperately sought democracy.
We urge the winner of a Noble Peace Prize, the venerated Aung San Suu Ski to assume leadership of moves towards an end of violence, and to create conditions for a safe return of refugees to their homes in Myanmar. Her voice is heard around the world, and hence compels her to take bold steps immediately, which must include indiscriminating state and social protection of the Rohingya community.
We urge the Buddhist community around the world to remind the people of Myanmar of the priority given to peace and respect of all nature in the exemplary teachings of Buddha.
We demand of Pakistan as well as other SAARC and ASEAN governments to forcefully remind the government of Myanmar that the inhuman violence sharply retards the progress towards democracy for its people and is therefore unacceptable for full inclusion in regional cooperation.
We demand of the people and government of Bangladesh to provide full refugee status to those compelled to flee Myanmar. Security of adequate food and humane shelter must be the first priority in sincere protection of refugees. SAARC and ASEAN countries must consider their obligation to assist Bangladesh in supporting refugees.
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
Pakistan Peace Coalition
Karamat Ali, Executive Director, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER)
B. M. Kutty
Lala Hasan Pathan
Mahnaz Rahman (Aurat Foundation and Women Action Forum)
Ziaur Rahman (journalist)
Syed Moazzam Ali
Jawaid Ashraf Hussain, former Chief Secretary of Sindh;
Shaheen Salahuddin (TV anchorperson, Indus TV)
Senior Research Associate
Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER)
Ph: +(92-21) 36351145-7
Fax: +(92-21) 36350345
- Rohingyas Face ‘Genocide’, Says Indonesia House Speaker (eurasiareview.com)
- Silent views on Myanmar violence (dawn.com)
- Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar (nytimes.com)