Monthly Archives: October 2008

11 Burmese Refugees Arrested In Indonesia


 researcher James,

Two weeks ago, 11 Burmese refugees were arrested in Iranjaya Indonesia while their secondary migration to Australia.

 

They were identified as Rohingya refugees from Burma. The sources from Ampang-KL of Malaysia said, “two of them are recognized refugees of UNHCR-Malaysia and the rest were unregistered. The two of them are of prvious group of about 44 Rohingya refugees arrested  in Indonesia in 2006.  Most of them back to Malaysia after six months detention in Indonesia”.

 

Amir Hussein’s wife from Ampang-KL  said, ” my husband’s first journey to Australia in 2006 was failed but he got experience and I allowed again for second time because we have decided to search a safe place for us and a territory for our children but not in Malaysia. UNHCR known well about we are not safe here. Although we are longstanding here, UNHCR-Malaysia did not recognize us and then treatment in process of protection and relocation are not provided equal for Rohingya refugees. Usually, the host introduced with abuses and recognized as illegals. I am praying for completion of our seeking a safe place. Unfortunately, my husband together others 10 were detained in Iranjaya-Indonesia”.

 

The source from Australia said, “In 2006, UNHCR recognized about 44 Rohingya refugees from Penang state-Malaysia, about 70 Rohingya refugee boatmen from Arakan-Burma, about 28 Rohingyas from Thailand, were arrested in Indonesia. Only 8 of UNHCR-Malaysia recognized Rohingya refugees had been reached to Chrismas Island, Australia. But they received protection-visa in Australia by new Prime Minister after one year of detention in Nauru Island. Many Rohingyas  had been trapped and exploited on the way in 2005 and 2006. Once they faced again as the origin of the persecution in the host and no solution was paved for their problems, they required a safe place fundamentally”.

 

When the sail asked to community from Ampang-Kl about UNHCR’s present holding progress, they replied, “most of priority goes to non-Rohingyas, one in thousand receiving assistance, protection is just a show occasionally. Supporting in where self-reliance sector of education for refugee children is informal and limited education. Please compare to the numbers of attendants and the numbers of refugees children and such program started in 2007 is why? If we received basic rights and and protected in Malaysia, they will not be searched for the safe territory via the risk”.

Rohingyas-Malaysia: Memorandum To Amnesty International


Rohingya Refugees Committee from Malaysia had sent a copy of memorandum, as follow; Date: October 24, 2008…

A Memorandum

To

Amnesty International

We, the Rohingya refugees from different areas in Malaysia stress our great expectation over the Amnesty International (AI) Malaysia that the agency will pave a role to find durable solution for our plights which have been kept behind the bar and inadequate protection. It is also a decades of failure in the advancement of advocacy.

while submitting a memo by area base Rohingya refugees from Malaysia

Today, we wish to call upon Amnesty International (AI) Malaysia to take proactive steps to advocate the causes of marginalized Rohingya refugees and to encourage United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and world bodies to pay attention to the long standing problems of Rohingyas in order to ensure their basic and fundamental human rights which were set forth by the United Nations Charters and Conventions.

We are the people who love peace, justice, freedom and harmony for the people of the world regardless of race, religion, color, sex and cultural orientation. But, the military regime of Burma made us as the worst victims of human rights violation, not only in Burma but also in its neighboring countries, particularly its allied states such as Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand and etc.

Rohingya are oppressed, displaced, treated as intruders and pushed into danger of extinction. Rohingyas rights to citizenship were denied, lands and possession were confiscated, freedom of movement, worship, thought and assembly are restricted, rights of marriage and education are banned, arbitrary arrest, widespread, rape, racial discrimination, extortion, and forced labor, violence, torture and extrajudicial killings are very common against Rohingya. Due to such kinds of brutal behaviors, atrocities, ethnic cleansing and religious discrimination of Burmese military regime, we (Rohingya) were compelled to take refuge in different parts of the world. An unspecific numbers of Burmese Rohingya have arrived in Malaysia.

Despite being the victims of inhumane pogrom, our cases have been kept behind the bar, while discriminations from various quarters are triggered against our people as well. Meanwhile, we are living in sub-human condition. We don’t have food to eat, place to stay, work to employ, cloth to wear and medicine to treat. Our children are passing lives in extreme vulnerability. They are underway to unexpected exploitation. Our women are being marginalized. Many of our people are being trafficked by smugglers.

Due to unavoidable circumstances and deprivation of fundamental human rights of refugees, many Rohingya refugees have begun secondary migration to find a safe place, whether in the river, sea, ocean and mountains or jungles. Of them, some managed to reach in Australia whose refugee status were granted by the new Prime Minister of Australia and many are still remain missing on their way to destination of safe place.

On the other hand, many Rohingya refugees got arrested in hand of Malaysian authorities and were deported to Thai-Malaysia border under the Malaysian Laws. But these vulnerable souls were sold to fishing boat or trafficked in different places for slavery for whom no information is coming out at all.

Rohingya refugee patients are being treated as people of rich countries at Malaysian hospital, which is totally unbearable for them as they don’t have regular work or permitted works to earn money for their survivals. Their children are barred from going to public schools whose rights are neglected by concerned quarters as well.

Refugee Status for the Rohingya refugees is not determined as non-Rohingya refugees from Burma. Rohingyas are given Prima-facie status that is not eligible for resettlement to a third country. Besides this, the document that issued by UNHCR for the Rohingya refugees is mentioned as Artificial Temporary Protection Card, which is quite different from other refugees. It has also mentioned that they can go back in their country of origin, if there were peace. This card not used in Malaysia and not recognized by international agencies or refugee resettling countries.

Meanwhile, the Rohingya refugees are branded to those who do not fall under that group of people to whom humanitarian assistance would be provided and considered as those whose permanent solution should be sought.

However, the Rohingya refugees are sure that they cannot go back to their country, unless their fundamental rights to citizenship are ensured. It is well known to the world that the Rohingyas are the only people in South and Southeast Asia who are the victims of consecutive harassments.

Being a main regime of refugees, UNHCR in Malaysia plays discriminatory roles against Rohingya refugees and pushing them to an assimilative system of Malayzation with some baseless relationship with Malays and their religious belief. When Rohingya refugees face confrontation with Police, Rela and Immigration, the agency remain silent and when any refugee reports to UNHCR hotline about arrest, the receiver only says that report received and does not take any action. When refugees reach to detention camp, UNHCR ask refugees to provide detainee number and location, where refugee cannot access at all. It means that Rohingya refugees would work for themselves as UNHCR does not interest to protect them.

Questions may made here that if Rohingya refugees can access to get release of refugees and manage to fulfill their needs, what would be the role of UNHCR for the protection of Rohingya refugees and what are the roles of Amnesty International and other human rights groups in focusing insincerity of UNHCR officials in Malaysia and to find durable solution to the plights of Rohingya refugees.

It is true that the religious status of Rohingya refugees do not have similarity with Malays which is same similar to other religions such as Roman Catholic, Baptist and Seven-day Adventist in Christianity, Mahayana and Theravada in Buddhism, Brahman, Vishnu and Chuddar in Hinduism. Besides, these, the Rohingya refugees are adjustable and mixable with other people and culture, keeping their original tradition and standard. But, now, they are pushed by UNHCR to accept Malay tradition, standard and culture following religious sub-class.

It is also true that there is no law for the protection of refugees in Malaysia and thus the Rohingya refugees are facing security problems and passing lives in the circle of arrest, detention, deportation; and hopeless and hapless in the host country with various depressions. Although, Malaysia ratified two of UN’s conventions such Convention on the Right of Child (CRC) and Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the country has yet to plan to ratify refugee convention in order to avoid floodgate for illegal immigrants.

Under these situations, the Rohingya refugees are treated as illegal immigrants in Malaysia, while UNHCR is pushing us to find temporary solution like Pilipino Muslims in Sabah.

This example is strong life evidence that local integration is impossible for Rohingya refugees in Malaysia, while the result of human rights abuses in Burma is also the evidence that they cannot be repatriated to their country of origin. Meanwhile the only option of resettlement in a third country with full refugee status is left from the mandates of Refugees Conventions.

We also would like to express our concern over the deprivation of our rights to identification of our vulnerabilities and plights; and thus we are not given chance to meet our obligation, which was set forth by United Nations Resolution.

The United Nations resolution also declared that October 24 is United Nations Day. For the occasion of this respected day, we call upon the Amnesty International:-

  1. To encourage UNHCR to provide adequate protection for Rohingya refugees in Malaysia in order to find permanent solution like non-Rohingya refugees who were recognized by the agency;

  2. To put pressure on UNHCR to regularize Refugee Status Determination (RSD) and Resettlement (RST) process for Rohingya refugees without further delay;

  3. To mobilize UNHCR to declare the full refugee status of Rohingya refugees who are registered with UNHCR and holding UNHCR TP Card and to issue the card as equal as non-Rohingya Burmese refugees;

  4. To manage UNHCR to improve respect and implementation of basic human rights for the Rohingya refugees, providing food, shelter, clothes, medication, protection, financial assistance, protection and education as soon as possible as they are underway to danger of uncertainty, which should be continued till their resettlement in a third country;

  5. To encourage UNHCR to eliminate improper sources providing, illogical exampling, undocumented responding and telephone threat to refugees, while eradicating the doubtful under table payments for UNHCR facilities;

  6. To uphold an international campaign for the Rohingya refugees in Malaysia and to produce particular report on them in order to advocate the causes of forgotten Rohingya refugees and to find durable solution for them.

  7. To bring the issue of Rohingya refugees before the United Nations Meeting as the Rohingyas are the neediest refugees for equal treatment of UNHCR in Malaysia and in need of resettlement in third country which is warranted by the situation here.

Thank you,

Sincerely,

Mohammad Sadek,       Habibur Rahman

Program Coordinator,    General Coordinator

Arakan Rohingya Refugee Committee (ARRC) (ARRC)

Tel: 016 3094599 Tel: 0122595185/0166948977

ARAKAN NEWS


Land Confiscations Begin for Trade

10/20/2008
Burmese authorities have confiscated many acres of land from local farmers in Taungbro Yar on the western border in order to construct border trade zones as well as a dam, said a community leader in the area.

He said, “Every body can see many small red flags hoisted on sticks in the area of Taungbro Yar right now because the authorities are surveying the land to construct the trade zones.”

According to a local official source, there are 150 acres of land, including farm and grazing land, that have been confiscated so far, but the government has yet to pay any compensation to the landowners.

“The Burmese authority does not usually compensate the owners of compensated lands because in Burma all lands technically belong to the state,” the community leader said.

Most of the landowners in the area are Muslim and have had no recourse to complain to the high authority about the land confiscations.

A team of high officials led by General Khin Zaw of the Defense Ministry and Brigadier-General Tin Naing Thein, Minister of Commerce, visited the area on Saturday to inspect the area for the construction of trade zones and the friendship road with Bangladesh.

A businessman in Maungdaw said, “Minister Tin Naing Thein offered businesses in Maungdaw the opportunity to buy one plot of land with a building on it inside the trade zone for 17.5 million kyat; the authority has plans to sell the buildings to the companies after the construction. ”

At the meeting, Tin Naing Thein also told the business owners that the government has plans to construct many godowns in the trade zone and that these will also be sold to businesses to promote border trade with Bangladesh.

Some companies in Maungdaw agreed to buy the proposed buildings in the trade zone in hopes of doing business with Bangladesh.

The authority will also construct a dam in Taungbro Yar and surveying for the project is currently underway.

A government clerk from Maungdaw said that a survey team led by San Pyi, Director of the Arakan State Survey Department, is currently surveying the lands where the dam will be constructed.

The new border trade zones are intended to promote business between Bangladesh and Burma and benefit the local residents by improving the economy, but local residents are already suffering the impacts of this plan by having their lands and livelihoods taken without compensation.

Kaladan News , October 22, 2008

Over 200 villagers forced to work in rubber plantation
Maungdaw, Arakan State: The Burmese military junta authorities are forcing 200 villagers to work in a rubber plantation near Aung Mamgala modern village from October 20, said a villager who worked as a forced labour.

 

The rubber plantation is around 3.40 acres and is controlled by Tactical Operations Command (TOC) in Buthidaung. The land was confiscated from the Rohingya community in the area.

 

The villagers had cultivated rubber seedlings which the TOC sold to villagers at 250 Kyats per seedling three years ago.

 

The authorities ordered the village headmen to send the workforce (which the junta calls to forced labour) to work in the rubber plantation. They are to fix fences, spread fertilizer and clean the grass around the rubber plants, said a village headman on condition of anonymity.

 

The villagers had to bring their food to work. No daily wage is paid.

 

“The rubber plantation is situated near the Aung Mamgala Natala (Modern) Village, but the authorities didn’t order Natala villagers to work. The order was meant only for Rohingya villagers,” said a village former headman.

 

Rohingya villagers who are working in the rubber plantation face starvation as most of them are daily workers.

 

“The authorities seized our land and than ordered us to buy the seedlings. Now, they have ordered us to work in the plantation area as forced labour which they call people’s workforce for the country,” said a school teacher from Maungdaw.

 

Recently, senior officers of the junta visited the border area and told the township officers to develop the area with help of the public. On the other hand they ordered them to confiscate lands from the Rohingya community.

 

“Nearly 150 acres of land from the Rohingya community will be confiscated soon for development of Taungbro as a modern town,” said a politician from Maungdaw.  

Kaladan News , October 24, 2008

Rohingya Muslims work in Kyaukpru–Maayee New Road

 

Kyaukpru, Arakan State: About 100 Rohingya Muslims are being forced to work on the newly constructed Kyaukpru– Maayee Road this week.

 

The Rohingya Muslim community lives in Kyakpru and Rambree Township in Arakan State.

 

The authorities from Kyaukpru and Rambree ordered local authorities to assemble Rohingya Muslims in their area for construction work on the Kyaukpru – Maayee Road.

 

“My father had gone to the newly constructed road for a week as a forced labour (which the junta calls people’s workforce) on the orders of the township authority. Flouting the order means we have to leave the town or the authorities will harass us,” said a student in Kyaukpru.

 

“We are facing starvation after my father went to the road construction site where the authorities provide the lowest quality of rice as wages and we have no other source of income for survival, he added.

 

The new road has nine bridges and it will join the high way to Kyukpru-Ann Road.

 

The Rohingyas who go to the construction site will work and stay at the site for a week and be replaced by another group of 100 Rohingyas, said a source.

 

There is no other community except the Rohingya working on this site, the source added.

 

“We don’t know how long it will take to finish the road and the Rohingya community will work to complete the project while their families starve,” the sources added.

UNHCR and Enforcement Director Meeting


 by James,

UNHCR hold 2nd meeting with enforcement director, in Dewan-Selayang, Taman Willah, Selayang Baru, on 23 Oct 2008.

 

Meeting started at 11 am and ended at about 12:30pm. The meeting was engaged by UNHCR and attended some 50 Burmese refugees from Selayang area only.

 

One of the attendent refugee said, “UNHCR staff looked the list of the attendant refugees seriously and gave appraise to the person who listed down to acknowledge any attendents to be ok for the meeting”.

 

He also added,  “Henrik Nordentoft, acting head representative for UNHCR-Malaysia declared that UNHCR is really really dealing with host government for Rohingya issues, but the refugees have to quiet and patient in willingness of creating of a good situation”.

 

In his explanation, immigration officer Mahmood proposed that the refugees have to inform everything to UNHCR, UNHCR will report to authority, to stay away from doing disturbances,  to ask your permanent solution from UNHCR and they will see again in coming December.

 

Secondly, Dr. Ishak (enforcement director ) introduced himself. He is  frankly again with refugees by saying,  “we are helping you and so, you help us, we are closing one side of our eyes on your condition”.  “If we received reports of arrests, we will deal with UNHCR.  I swear that I don’t arrest UNHCR card holder refugees. We will think for your permanent solution and or resettlement to 3rd country.” He added.  But community from Selayang stated shockly that the quotation during the conference on 18-19 Feb 2008  was that the rules of immigration and orders and then expressed are no excuse rules.  

An attendant refugee said, “I had also asked that why UNHCR-HQ closed our resettlement process? But our head officer Henrik did not answer my question and continued to UNHCR trying to discuss with host government, will be solved soon. On his speeches, Dr. Ishak said again shortly, “your father or mother is UNHCR only and need to deal with UNHCR”.

 

An activist expressed, “Mr. Henrik is a new promoted head officer for UNHCR-Malaysia and I am not sure to say that his reclining is a deal. In our records, this is his first speeches and incarnation to it refugees. Usually, many officers were worked for several years and known well about facing problems by refugees, but they had been transferred casually. It means they  ignored or they are not willing to tackle the situation  even they are humanitarian officers receiving with highest salary. Yet, remaining to tackle the long-standing problems and to pave protection for refugees.  But , they each had strong in talking the talks. That is why that they failed to report through proper channel”.

 

He also pointed out, “ no one had raised and discussed about the numbers of currently detained Rohingya refugees and the numbers of detainee refugees a few days ago from KL area and Terengganu state. UNHCR’s protection officer Ms. Cecile Fradot had denounced and agreed with the numbers of currently detained Rohingya refugees about 500 persons, in the MWG’s 3rd consultation workshop. Thus, it is clear that our agency UNHCR succeeded in holding meetings and the talks only. They did not; discuss the deal facing by refugees, try to get release detainee refugees from the various camps and prisons, stop their disposing refugees into trafficking or uncertain deportations, plans to save deportee refugees from traffickers. But, they will encourage refugees to follow country’s Laws and thus refugees are facing problems in the circle again and again is every single refugee facing is being simple. It means UNHCR wanted its refugees to be introduced with arrests, detentions, deportations, traffickers. Unfortunately, mankind of refugee is being the victim under the rules of the mankind’s interest. There is also not clear aspects of UNHCR solves the refugees’ problems or UNHCR maintains its works by refugees”.

 

Dr. Ishak is an enforcement director and an active in clarification of illegals if we looked backward and foreword records. As, his speeches, if he closed one side of his eye, it means that he is not following the country’s legislations. So, the current government has the need to charge him under the act which was alerted by Home Ministry in last month that the enforcement officers would be charged if they are not doing their enforcement duties. Funny in his swear that he never arrest the refugees is almost true because refugees were arrested by Rela, immigration and Police, not by him”. He also added.

 

 

An Innocence Burmese Refugee Dead in Rela Raid


researcher Theng,

 A 22 years old Burmese Refugee was brutally beaten to death in Selayang Baru area, Kuala Lumpur, on 04 Nov 2007.

 the victim’s picture was taken while preparing for funeral

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note: the date shown on the photo was retaken date of the original photo 

The dead body was identified as Md. Hussein, a Rohingya refugee from Burma. The sources confirmed that the victim was killed by Rela forces, during the raid at around 12:15am of the day. After beaten brutally,  the victim was pushed into the drain,  front side of Pasar Lama.

 

A local source said, “at the morning about 10:00am, IPD police from Selayang, accompanied by chief inspector, lifted the dead body to General Hospital KL, for postmortem. During inquiry to the place, two local from Bazzer had talked directly to police that they had seen the event Rela forces beating the victim”.

 

“The next day, the victim’s relative and Rohingya community from Selayang, faced problems to take out the dead body from Hospital. As they have to get approval from IPD- Selayang. But, IPD Selayang’s chief inspector urged that community have to sign to prove  the victim was dead for slided himself into the drain, and not to say killed by Rela. It would be easy to take out the body”. Eventually, they agreed and 5 relatives of the victim were signed as chief inspector forced.” One of the victim’s relative explained.

 

“It is almost like in Burma, if the victim was killed in police custody, authority forced the doctor and victim’s family to show as the victim suffered from diseased.” Community added.

 

They also expressed, “that day, about 80 people were arrested and about 40 of them were from Burma including 15 of them were Rohingya refugees.  We saw the dead body with bleeding out from left side of victim’s head, opening occiput, broken right hand and wounded in tight.”

 

The victim’s wife, Ms. Montas, recognized refugee said, community and she had souhgt assistance from UNHCR, but reply nothing. She also added, “a few month ago, the various reporters had visited to Selayang and recorded various abuses faced by refugees, but no report is release yet”.

 

An activist from Selayang said, “we wish to raise about such kind of serious issues through proper channel, but concern quarters saying that we are persuing defamation against them.”

 

Army Loots Fuel and Fish from Arakanese Boats


source from the daily Arakan Digest, 10/17/2008
Many fishing boat owners in the coastal area of northern Arakan State have been suffering at the hands of an army patrol team that is looting fish and fuel from the boats while they are working at sea, said U Aung Ko, a fishing boat owner from Sittwe.

He said, “Two days ago, the army patrol team from Ah Ngu Maw outpost looted ten gallons of diesel and many lucrative fish from my boat while it was at fishing at sea north of Sittwe.”
The Ah Ngu Maw outpost is located on the Mayu Peninsula in southern Rathidaung Township and one army team from the outpost has been patrolling the area in a speed boat to prevent smuggling from Burma to Bangladesh.

“The army team looted fuel and fish very cleverly from the fishing boats, and it is like a cold-blooded robbery abuse by the army team on the fishing boats,” he said.

He also added that the patrol team typically approach the boats and claim that they had rushed from a far distance to catch the boat because they thought it was a smuggling. They then claim that they used many gallons of fuel to travel out to the boat and ask for fuel and fish as compensation.
“It is a new system for the army team to loot fuel and fish from us, and many fishing boat owners have faced this style of the army asking for fuel and fish,” he said.

According to a local fishery source, the fishing boats have to provide the fuel and fish to the army team whenever they ask because they are afraid of retribution if they deny the request.
“If we refuse the army’s request for fuel, they can arrest us and accuse of being smugglers. So we give whatever the army team asks,” he said.

Such a situation is not uncommon for fishing boats at sea, as many armed forces, including the navy, army, and police, have looted fuel and fishes from the boats all along the coast of Arakan. #

Woman Activist Jailed in Rangoon


source from Irrawaddy news, 17 Oct 2008

Accused of illegally handling foreign currency, Khin Moe Aye, 40, a prominent social and political activist, was sentenced to three years imprisonment, along with former student leader Kyaw Soe, at Rangoon’s Insein prison court on Thursday, according to her lawyer, Khin Maung Shein.

Former political prisoners Khin Moe Aye and Kyaw Soe were arrested by military intelligence officers in Kyaikto Township in Rangoon’s northeastern suburbs on December 12.

Khin Moe Aye

Khin Moe Aye has been imprisoned by the military junta three times before. Her first arrest was in 1990 when she was jailed for one or two months. She was rearrested in December 1991 for her role in leading student demonstrations in honor of Aung San Suu Kyi winning the Nobel Peace Prize. She was sentenced to 10 years in jail, but was released in May 1992.

While continuing her pro-democracy activities, she was arrested again in February 1998 and was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for assisting an author, Aung Tun, in documenting a history of the Burmese student movement. She was released on May 4, 2003.

Kyaw Soe

In recent times, Khin Moe Aye has worked to provide aid, food and education to orphaned children and has founded an orphanage in Rangoon. 

Tate Naing, secretary of the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners-Burma (AAPP), told The Irrawaddy on Friday that Khin Moe Aye actively participated in the 1988 popular uprising as a student leader of Rangoon University’s student union and was an active member of the All Burma Federation of Students Unions.

“She was often pressured by the military authorities for her involvement in social and political activities,” he said.

 

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Maungdaw health officer requests medical help


source from Kaladan News, October 16, 2008

 Maungdaw, Arakan State: Many children in Maungdaw have been afflicted with topical diseases like dysentery and diarrhea. They have been admitted to the general hospital in Maungdaw since the first week of October, said a staff from hospital.

 The hospital has no space for patients and the health officer of Maungdaw has requested the authorities to supply medicines and send doctors to prevent the diseases spreading, he added.

 “Our survey team found out that the children are suffering from malnutrition. With the climate changing, there has been a rise in the diseases,” said a spokesperson from a health organization working in the Maungdaw area.

 The township health officer has ordered the village clinics to treat those suffering from the diseases first, said a village health worker.

 The officer has also asked doctors working in the town clinics, to join the township health group to combat the diseases, he added.

 The affected areas fall under the Nasaka, Burma border security forces areas 3,4,5,6 and 8.

 There is no official report as to how many children have died but local health workers from Maungdaw disclosed that more than 15 have died.

Govt urged to raise Rohingya


source from the daily Arakan Digest, 14 Oct 2008,

Neeti Gabeshana Kendra, a private research organisation, Tuesday urged the government to raise the Rohingya refugee issues at the official talks with vice-senior general Maung Aye, vice chairman of Myanmar’s ruling State Peace and Development Council. The organisation in a statement said that the interim government should raise the crucial refugee problems considering their implications for Bangladesh’s socio-economic security. It said that the Rohingya repatriation problems remained the most sensitive issue in Bangladesh-Myanmar relations for the last three decades.

‘At present, the Rohingya refugees are living in different parts of Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong Hill Tracts, including those registered in two camps of the UNHCR, in inhuman conditions’, said the research organisation.

It said, ‘Being deprived of all basic rights, the Rohingya people take refuge in the neighbouring Bangladesh…. But for a densely populated country like Bangladesh, it is difficult to sustain the issue for long…The refugee crisis has created geo-political problems in the region and could threaten peace, stability and security.’ General Maung Aye arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday morning on a three-day official visit at the invitation of chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed.

Lawyers, Families Complain as Trials Begin of 37 Activists


source from Irrawaddy news, 14 Oct 2008,

The trials began in Rangoon on Monday of 37 political activists charged with a series of offences, including threatening the stability of the government.

The one-day appearances were closed to the general public, including the families of the accused, who protested against their exclusion.

The accused include several leaders of the 88 Generation Students movement, including Min Ko Naing. His trial was adjourned until October 27.

The accused face seven charges, including a provision of the criminal code covering crimes judged to threaten the stability of the government.

The trials are taking place in three locations—Insein Prison and court premises in Hlaing Tharyar Township and Kamaryut Township.

The accused also include Nilar Thein, a woman activist, and a prominent activist monk, Ashin Gambira, who were among the leaders of the September 2007 demonstrations, Htun Htun Oo, Maung Maung Latt, Aung Kyaw Moe, Si Thu Maung and Tar Tar Thet.

Gambira is charged with nine separate criminal offenses, including infringements of State Offence Act 505 A and B, Immigration Act 13/1, Illegal Organization Act 17/1, Electronic Act 303 A and Organization Act 6.

Gambira’s lawyer, Aung Thein, resigned his brief on October 1, complaining that he was not being allowed to prepare a proper defense

Another defense lawyer, Khin Maung Shein, said he would also resign his brief after the court refused to allow him to ask questions on behalf of his clients.

Both were asked by their clients to withdraw. “If we are asked by our clients to resign, then we have to [follow their instructions],” Khin Maung Shein said. “They asked us to resign not because they are not satisfied with our efforts but because they don’t want to cooperate with the courts’ schedule any longer.”
   
Meanwhile, detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyer, Kyi Win, said no reply had yet been received to the legal appeal against her continuing house arrest, which had been handed in at Naypyidaw on October 8.

Suu Kyi’s latest five-year term of house arrest was extended in May for a further year—illegally, according to Kyi Win, because article 10 (b) of the Burmese State Protection Law 1975 stipulates that a person judged to be a “threat to the sovereignty and security of the State and the peace of the people” can only be detained for up to five years.

Suu Kyi has spent more than 13 years of the past 19 years confined to her Rangoon home.

 

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