Monthly Archives: January 2009

AI Calls for Access to Rohingya

30 Jan 2009, source from irrawaddy news,

A leading international rights group, Amnesty International, called on regional countries on Thursday to address the plight of Rohingya migrants and grant the UN immediate access to the detained boat people.

Amnesty International sent an open letter on Thursday to the governments of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Burma and expressed its concern on the issue of Rohingya migrants.

“We write to you to raise our serious concern about the plight of the Rohingyas,” the rights group said in the letter.  

It also urged the six regional countries to grant the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) immediate access to detained Rohingya in order to determine whether they need international protection. 

The group asked the Burmese military government to stop persecution of the Rohingya people who live in Arakan State in western Burma.  

On Friday, a Burmese state-run newspaper, Myanmar Ahlin, carried a story that claimed the Rohingya are not among Burma’s more than 100 ethnic minority groups.

“It will be complicated if Thai authorities repatriate the 66 Rohingya migrants to Burma,” the report said, referring to an earlier group of detainees. 

However, Kitty McKinsey, who is the regional spokeswoman for UNHCR in Asia, told The Irrawaddy on Friday that the detained migrants were clearly Rohingya, and they departed from Burma.

The UNHCR was granted access to 12 Rohingya teenagers from a group of 78 Rohingya who were rescued by the Thai navy on Monday night. She said the teenagers are in good condition.

The health of the remaining Rohingya is unknown. The UNHCR is in discussions with the Thai government to obtain access to those in detention, she said.

Kasit Piromya, the Thai Foreign Minister, told reporters in Bangkok on Thursday that he has agreed “in principle” to grant UNHCR access to the detained Rohingya boat people after talks were held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.     

Meanwhile, two leading US-based rights groups, Refugees International and Human Rights Watch, claim the Thai navy has mistreated hundreds of Rohingya boat people who left from Burma, forcing many of them back out to international water with limited food and water. The groups said as many as 300 Rohingya are missing.     

Thailand has denied the charges, but in a statement released on a Web site on Wednesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “should concrete evidence be presented, the Thai Government would seriously look into such cases.”  

Last week, Foreign Ministry officials met with envoys from India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Burma to discuss the exodus of the Rohingya from Burma.

Due to alleged discrimination against the Rohinya people, there has been a persistent exodus of Rohingya from Burma and Bangladesh since the early 1990s in an effort to reach Thailand and Malaysia.
Chris Lewa, an expert on Rohingya issues, said the number of boat people may increase this year due to the impact of the global economic downturn on one of the poorest regions of Asia.


Burmese Refugees Face Arrests And Abuses Continuously In Malaysia

researcher Theng,

About 100 Burmese refugees were arrested by Rela raid including immigration, in Klang Market, on 29 Jan 2009.

Reportedly by Klang community, the raids started at 3:30 am early morning and about 200 migrants were arrested and some had been faced physical abuses, then lifted to Rela station Klang by municipal lorries. But, some were released by payment. After completion of statement in Rela station, they were brought to KLIA detention camp.


According to community’s addition, exactly 15 of UNHCR recognized card holders and 14 of unregistered Rohingya Burmese refugees were involved. And amongst who faced abuses, Mr.Mohd Arab (UNHCR’s file No. 05/ROH/00296), had been beaten and laid-down on the ground, by Police. For his escaped by hiding in Telecom office, suddenly a police saw him and beat seriously. Now, he was admitted in Hospital Banting, Klang.


Community also confirmed that they had informed through UNHCR’s hot-line during the raids, and sent email again before taken to KLIA camp. But no reaction was done like before, but they were put into KLIA detention camp. After that, they had also sent by fax their exact names and UNHCR’s file numbers.


According to the source, presently 40 of Rohingya Burmese refugees were held in KLIA, they had been put since 3 months ago. They are under way to sell to trafficker, but now the process would be delay or quick a bit while Malaysia was accused.

Are Malaysian Officials Trafficking Burmese Migrants?

source from irrawaddy news, 27 JAN 2009,

KUALA LUMPUR — A scandalous trade in Burmese migrant labor involving Malaysian officials and international human traffickers is now coming to light, investigators say.

Like thousands of Burmese migrant workers, That Zin Myint travelled overland from Rangoon to Bangkok and reached the Thai border where local syndicates, for a hefty bribe, helped him cross into northern Malaysia and move overland to the capital where cheap, unskilled labor is in great demand.

‘’Don’t take my photographs… they will come after me,” Zin Myint said, referring to Malaysian authorities who now closely monitor local and overseas publications for anti-Malaysia sentiments expressed by migrant workers. On arrival Zin Myint “celebrated” with others from his village and joined some three million—documented and undocumented—Asian migrant workers who live and work here in deplorable conditions.

An estimated 150,000 of these workers are Burmese migrant workers, many of them Kachins and Muslim Rohingyas from Burma’s northern Rakhine region. ‘’We Burmese migrants are sold like fish and vegetables,” Myint told IPS in an interview in Pudu market, a big wet market in the capital where Burmese migrant workers predominate. Myint had been arrested, taken to the Thai border, and officially “deported” which actually means getting sold to human traffickers.

 “I was robbed of all my cash by both Malaysian and Thai officials and sold to traffickers,” Myint told IPS. “I was held in a jungle camp near the border for three weeks until my relatives bought me from the traffickers. I bribed my way back into Malaysia,” he said, adding that while conditions are tough in Malaysia, they are better than Burma or Thailand.

 ‘’There is food, work and a roof over my head.” Myint is one of the luckier ones to be arrested and “deported” only once. He is now considered a leader in the Pudu area and much sought after by other Burmese workers for “assistance” in avoiding arrest and deportation all over again. Burmese migrant workers call the trade “bwan” (thrown away) or one of the worst forms of human trafficking. “Malaysia does not recognize key international agreements on the protection of refugees and foreign nationals. Nor does it apply to foreign migrants the same rights and legal protections given to Malaysian citizens,” said Irene Fernandez, executive director of Tenaganita, a rights NGO that protects migrant workers.

Human rights activists have long charged that immigration, police and other enforcement officials, including the unpopular voluntary force called RELA, have been “trading” Burmese migrants, especially Rohingyas, to human traffickers in Thailand who then pass them on to deep sea fishing trawler operators in the South China Sea. The women are generally sold into the sex industry. “They are treated as a commodity and frequently bought and sold, and we have been condemning this practice for a long time,” Fernandez said. “Our demands have always fallen on deaf ears despite the accumulating evidence of the involvement of uniformed officials in the trade,” Fernandez told IPS.

 It has become commonplace for the authorities to use the vigilante RELA force to periodically arrest and “deport” Rohingyas, but since Burma does not recognize them as citizens, the practice is to take them to the Bukit Kayu Hitam area on the Thai-Malaysia border and force them to cross over into Thailand. “They are arrested, jailed and deported, but since they are stateless they are taken to the Thai border and often sold to Thai traffickers,” said Fernandez. Invariably, the “deported” Rohingyas bribe Thai and Malaysian officials and return to Malaysia.

The accusation against corrupt Malaysian officials is long standing and made frequently by refugees, human rights activists, opposition lawmakers and is even the subject of one official probe. Malaysian television channels have also investigated and exposed the “sale” of the Rohingya refugees on the Malaysia-Thai border, although they did not finger Malaysian officials for fear of reprisals.

A U.S. probe being conducted into trafficking by the powerful Senate foreign relations committee has stimulated interest in the plight of Rohingyas when its findings are relayed to key U.S. enforcement agencies and Interpol for possible action, Senate officials have said.

 “U.S. Senate foreign relations committee staff are reviewing reports of extortion and human trafficking from Burmese and other migrants in Malaysia, allegedly at the hands of Malaysia government officials,” a staff official told international news agencies in early January.

A MEMORANDUM TO UNHCR-Malaysia by All Burma Democratic Forces

p2ABDF, Malaysia had sent letter to us…..

They had also point out that Malaysian authority has known our condition and situation here thus we are allowed to hold continuously to urge our rights from our concern quarter, as how long Malaysia can allow by hosting illegals. This is being more as Malysia has not signed in Refugees Convetions and refugees concerns to UNHCR only.

The  asembly started at 10:am of the day and allowed to hold 10 minutes and about 300 of Burmese refugees were presented. And done peacefully. The memo was read by 3 representatives of ABDF namely, Mr. Habib, Mr.Aung Kyaw Moe, and Mr.Zaw Min, and received by Mr.Ibrahim Amin, Head of secyrity for UNHCR-Malysia.  they also expressed that there are some reactions from previous asembly which held on 3rd Dec 2008. One of the reaction is UNHCR own self had expelled two officers who believed to be involved in corruption. But most of our rights are yet to be reinstalled. The memo is as follow;

Date: January 21, 2009



We at the All Burma Democratic Force (ABDF) based in Malaysia is very much concerned over the ongoing situation of Burmese refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia .


We are full confident that the office of UNHCR is seriously involved in gross human rights abuses and thus play a role of dictatorship, even hatch conspiracy against its persons of concern or refugees and asylum seekers, using its collaborators from refugee communities with a hope of extra benefits and resettlement in third countries.


Regarding these, since March 2007, the All Burma Democratic Force (ABDF) has been trying utmost to reveal the truth and to bring a better atmosphere at UNHCR office to treat all refugees as equal regardless of race, religion and etc. But, the office ignored the calls with a manner of supreme dictator in order to continue its inhumanity, abuses and to hide reality.


Besides, marginalized refugee group “ROHINGYA” who are the worst victims of human rights violation both in home and exile have been struggling to find permanent solution. Based on this, hundreds of Rohingya Burmese refugees held a peaceful assembly on December 3, 2008 but the UNHCR reportedly spent about 100,000 Malaysian Currency to disperse poor refugees and to make voiceless as well.


The agency is also trying enough to convoke ethnic tension and internal conflicts among the refugee communities, conducting baseless meetings and wasting times and energy to bring gaps and misunderstanding.


Despite, implementation of UNHCR mandate to find long-lasting solution, UNHCR in Malaysia pays negligence attention towards Burmese democratic forces to have talks and to work together for the welfare of refugees, while creating effective networks with Burmese military for continuous outflow of refugees in order to sustain their jobs.


Besides, there is no law for their protection of refugees in Malaysia and thus the government clearly declared that “we will not accept political asylum” “Malaysia will not change its refugee policy as it is not signatory to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights Convention as well as 1951 convention for the Status of Refugees and its additional protocol of 1967”.


Following these, Burmese people in Malaysia are caught between two hard rocks as there is no hope for their return to home and unable to stay in safe and dignity in country of their asylum. Therefore, they are going to urge upon their concerned quarters, particularly the UN Refugee Agency to ensure their rights to be protected from unexpected prosecution.


Therefore, the ABDF express its firm stand to fight against all kinds of dictatorship, racism, nepotism, and ill-treatment and human rights abuses against humanity in order to bring justice in UNHCR office, which must take all kinds of accountabilities.

In these regards, we urge upon the UNHCR:-

1.      To  review unconditionally the policy of UNHCR towards all Burmese refugees regardless of race, religion, sex, color and etc to treat them equally in all circumstances, particularly in time of registration, protection intervention, stipend and referral for resettlement in third countries, while priority must be given to those marginalized Rohingya group whose referral are totally not made yet;

2.      To respect human rights of refugees, stopping all kinds of human rights abuses including discrimination, threats and underestimation through the empowerment of security guards, interpreters and local staffs;

3.      To regularize registration for all undocumented refugees in open gate system and to stop mobile registration policy in order to bring justice for every asylum seekers that accorded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR);

4.      To improve respect and implementation of basic human rights for all refugees, providing foods, shelter, clothes, medication, protection, financial assistance and education as soon as possible as they are very vulnerable and desperate, which should be continued till their resettlement in a third country, particularly for the Rohingya refugees who are barred from all kinds of assistances that is only because of their religious beliefs and UNHCR failure to recommend their vulnerable plights;

5.      To put an end to unethical, inaccurate and undue representation by the various quarters and 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  take immediate steps to cause and effect release of all Burmese detainees from detention centers as they are unconditional refugees who have left their country of origin with genuine reason and been undergoing to victimization such as being sold to human traffickers, smugglers, modern slavery in fishing boats, plantations and other sectors;

7.      To  bring animmediate end of UNHCR assistances towards Burmese military regime and its collaborators through registering, protecting and resettling them to third countries under so-called prioritization for ethnic communities as many groups are playing double standard roles both in home and exile.


  Action Committee for Peaceful Assembly

All Burma Democratic Force (ABDF)

Union of Burma


1.                  United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Headquarters, Geneva

2.         Royal Malaysian Government

3.         United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Regional office, Bangkok

4.         Concerned Diplomatic Missions in Malaysia

5.         Malaysian Bar Council

6.         Local and International Non-Government Organizations


“The Talks On Treatment of Thai & Boat People”

source from net,

Thai PM holds talks on migrant abuse claims
Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Govt calls meeting of envoys from 4 countries including Bangladesh 
slide showPicture taken last year shows a refugee guarded by Thai soldiers on the Thai island of Koh Sai Baed. The Sunday edition of the Hong Kong newspaper the South China Morning Post reported on Monday that Colonel Manat was involved in the process of secretly detaining Myanmese Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees in a secret detention camp on Koh Sai Baed, before they were towed into international waters on unpowered boats and abandoned.

Thailand’s new prime minister held talks with human rights groups yesterday as the government tried to stem damaging reports that it set hundreds of migrants adrift at sea with scant food and water.
Survivor accounts and reports from rights groups suggest up to 1,000 members of a Muslim minority from Myanmar washed up on Thai shores late last year, were detained and beaten, then towed out to sea in barges with no engines.
Deputy government spokesman Buddhipongse Punnakanta said Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva met members of the National Human Rights Commission and other rights officials on Monday to discuss the matter.

“The prime minister told the commission not to worry about the Rohingya case,” he told reporters. “He assigned all the government authorities involved to keep him up-to-date.”
Hundreds of members of the Rohingya ethnic group from western Myanmar near the Bangladesh border have been rescued in waters around India and Indonesia, but hundreds more are feared missing or dead.
Indian coast guard officials said the migrants told of being beaten by Thai soldiers and sent to sea with no equipment and a few bags of rice.

Witnesses have reportedly said that some of the detainees were beaten within metres of foreign tourists on a remote Thai island off the coast of the self-styled “Land of Smiles”.
Thailand’s navy has denied the allegations, while Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said that the defence minister had also been tasked with investigating the matter.
“I was primarily informed that the soldiers did not do that. There are several pictures… I believe we can find out the truth,” he told reporters.
“I myself believe the officers did not do such a thing because Thai people have generosity and kindness.”
Thailand’s foreign minister Kasit Piromya said he would call a meeting of ambassadors from Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Bangladesh and possibly Indonesia to discuss the issue.
“The ministry will coordinate with countries who have this minority group to meet and discuss in order to solve the problem urgently,” he told reporters, adding that the human trafficking networks would also be addressed.
The Indian coast guard has since December rescued 446 of the boat people, most of them members of the Rohingya and a handful from Bangladesh.
Another 200 foreigners, again mostly Rohingya, were found off the northern tip of Indonesia’s Sumatra island earlier this month.
Although the exact details of their treatment in Thailand and their onward journey remain unclear, human rights groups and the UN refugee agency have called on the Thai government to immediately clarify the issue.
http://www.thedaily newDesign/ news-details. php?nid=72056
Army chief: No Thai abuse of illegal Myanmar immigrants

BANGKOK, Jan 20 (TNA) –  Thai Army chief Gen. Anupong Paochinda reemphasized Tuesday that the Thai military have dealt with the illegal immigrants from the ethnic minority Rohingya community under international human rights criteria and have not committed any abuse against them.
A British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) report charged that the Royal Thai Navy mishandled illegal immigrants by setting them adrift off the Thai coast on a boat with no engine and limited food and water supplies. The Rohingya immigrants belonging to ethnic minority Rohingyas from the Myanmar-Bangladesh border who had travelled to Thailand in search of work.
Gen. Anupong said the military was investigating the incident by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s order whether the treatment was properly or not.
However the Army chief said he was confident that no Thai officials used violence in their conduct with the attempting migrant workers and they adhere to international standards and principles of human rights in dealing with illegal immigrants.
The Army chief added that Thai Navy Commander-in- Chief Admiral Kamthorn Poomhiran had showed photographs confirming that the Navy had treated the illegal immigrants in a humanitarian manner and that the images shown by the foreign media were probably taken by tourists who did not understand the procedures of the authorities.
According to Admiral Kamthorn, over 200 illegal immigrants at that time entered the country while there were only 18 naval personnel so it was necessary for the Thai personnel to order them to take off their shirts to make sure that they were not armed.
Asked whether the incident would impact Thai-Myanmar relations, Gen Anupong said that the bilateral ties between Thailand and Myanmar were recently strengthened and the two sides had a good attitude towards each other, especially as Bangkok had given aid to Myanmar after the country was heavily hit by Cyclone Nargis last year. (TNA)

UNHCR seeks access to 126 Muslim Rohingya boat people in Thailand
20 Jan 2009 16:18:18 GMT
Source: UNHCR

Reuters and AlertNet are not responsible for the content of this article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are the author’s alone.

GENEVA, January 20 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency on Tuesday asked the Thai government for access to 126 detained Muslim Rohingya boat people in order to assess their situation and determine whether any of them are in need of international protection.

This follows UNHCR’s expression of strong concern to the government last week over allegations that large groups of Rohingya boat people from Myanmar were intercepted in Thai waters, towed out to sea and left to die.

“According to information from our sources, a group of 80 Rohingya boat people are being held on Koh Sai Daeng Island off the Thai coast in the Andaman Sea. A further 46 Rohingya who were intercepted on a boat last Friday were reportedly handed over to Thai military authorities, and we are trying to determine where they are now,” said UNHCR spokesman, Ron Redmond.
“Given the new Thai government’s commitment to human rights, we are eager to discuss with Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya ways that this crisis can be defused quickly in line with international humanitarian standards. We have stressed that the Thai government should take all measures to make sure the lives of the Rohingya boat people are not put at risk,” Redmond told journalists in Geneva.
He said UNHCR welcomed Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban’s announcement in the Thai media on Tuesday that he has ordered the defence minister to investigate accusations of maltreatment of the Rohingya boat people.

The Rohingya are stateless Muslims from northern Rakhine state in Myanmar. There are 28,000 Rohingya recognized refugees in two UNHCR camps in Bangladesh and some 200,000 unregistered Rohingya living outside the camps there. For several years now in this dry season, many of them have been desperate enough to risk their lives at sea in small boats sailing from Bangladesh or Myanmar, often turning up in Thailand, Malaysia or as far away as Indonesia.

Because the plight of the Rohingya is a regional problem, UNHCR is urgently seeking to discuss with the Thai government ways that all concerned countries can address the root causes that impel the Rohingya to put their lives at risk on such perilous journeys.

“We look forward to discussing with Foreign Minister Kasit ways that the new Thai government, given both its key role in the region and its current chairmanship of ASEAN [Association of South-east Asian Nations], can play a vital role in addressing this alarming regional issue,” Redmond said.
More . . .
http://alertnet. org/thenews/ newsdesk/ UNHCR/74986be9c7 9cf6479398768cd4 3e9d21.htm

UN asks Thailand for access to Rohingya boat people – Summary

Bangkok – Amid reports that the Thai navy forced hundreds of Rohingya boat people out to sea last month, leaving up to 500 missing, the United Nations on Tuesday asked the government for access to 126 surviving boat people now in Thai custody. “We have asked the Thai government for access to two groups totalling 126 Rohingya boat people who are in custody in southern Thailand in order to assess their situation and determine whether any of them are in need of international protection,” said a statement issued by United Nations High commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Last week the UNHCR expressed strong concern over allegations that the Thai navy towed hundreds of Rohingya boat people out to sea and left them to die. Rohingyas are a Muslim minority group from Myanmar’s Arakan State who have been denied citizenship by the ruling junta.
The Thai navy on December 18 and 30 pushed out to sea at least 992 Rohingya boat people in boats without engines or sufficient supplies reports based on survivors’ testimonies said. An estimated 400 to 500 of the boat people are believed missing and feared drowned.
The UNHCR has been informed that 126 Rohingya are being held in Thai military custody after being rescued in Thai waters.
Their testimony would be crucial for determining what happened last month, which is now
the subject of an army investigation.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva requested the investigation in to the Rohingya push-back case after talking to human rights groups at a meeting Monday at which the issue was raised.
Thai Army Commander-in- Chief General Anupong Paochinda, while confirming Tuesday that the military will conduct the investigation, at the same time said he was confident no abuses had been committed against the Rohingya.
The Arakan Project, a non-governmental organization that monitors treatment of the Rohingyas, has provided evidence that the Thai Navy pushed some 992 Rohingyas in engineless boats back onto the high seas from southern Thailand.
Chris Lewa, coordinator of the Arakan Project, said there may have been more push-backs that she was unaware of.
“If some of the people hadn’t survived we would never have known about these cases,” said Lewa.
News that the Thai military was pushing Rohingya refugees out to sea came to light last month when the Indian Navy on December 18 rescued 107 people from a boat who claimed that they had been put to sea in the engineless craft by the Thai Navy and set adrift.
According to the survivors, about 300 of the 412 refugees had drowned when they jumped overboard to try to swim to shore.
Another group of 580 Rohingyas was allegedly shoved back to sea on December 30 in five boats after the engines were removed, said Lewa.
Of this group, some 193 were rescued near Indonesia’s Sabang Island in Aceh province on January 7 and an another boat with 150 onboard was rescued off Tillanchang Island, India, on January 10.
On January 6, another 81 Rohingyas were rescued by Thai fishermen, and have since been put under Thai military custody again, said Lewa.
The Arakan Project was still checking whether this group was part of the 580 pushed back on December 30.
There are still between 400 to 500 of the refugees unaccounted for, she said.

The Thai miliary has denied the accusations, although officials acknowledge that they see the Myanmar-Muslims as a security threat, suspecting them of coming to Thailand to join Thai-Muslim insurgents in southern Thailand’s Pattani area.
“Definitely the reason for this is national security,” said Lewa, speculating on the Thai military’s drastic measures.
Lewa, who has worked with the Rohingya for years, said she was convinced the majority had landed in Thailand en route to Malaysia, where they can look for employment, paying brokers about 1,000 dollars for the passage.
The Rohingyas, numbering about 750,000 in Arakan, are stateless people, having been denied citizenship in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Lewa called for Thailand to find a regional solution to the new wave of boat people.
“It’s a regional issue,” said Lewa. “Thailand cannot solve it alone, but should collaborate with the counties concerned and international agencies to find a solution to this problem.”
The UN agrees.
“Because the plight of the Rohingyas is a regional problem, UNHCR is urgently seeking to discuss with the Thai government ways that all concerned countries can address the root causes that impel the Rohingya to put their lives at risk on such perilous journeys,” said the UNHCR statement.
http://www.earthtim show/251534, un-asks-thailand -for-access- to-rohingya- boat-people- -summary. html

Burmese Refugees Arrested In Malaysia

 researcher James,

18 Burmese refugees were arrested from Jelutong area, Penang state. on 19 Jan 2009, and 16 from Kulim Penang state, on 07 Jan 2009.


All of them are identified as Rohingya Burmese refugees and they are recognized refugees under UNHCR-Malaysia.


Following to refugees community from Penang state, 18 Rohingyas were arrested by Rela and Police raid at about 10:30am. One of them is identified as Abdul Hak (UNHCR file No. 512-03C-01201). Although they were lifted to Police station Patani, there was no record when they contact.


They also added that the other 16 of Kulim were lifted to Kuala Lumpur on 19 Jan 2009 and moved again to Alor Star camp. They will be met deportation process like before. One of them is identified as Husin (UNHCR file No. 04/ROH/02779).


An activist said, “I am sure that both of UNHCR will deny to pave access of protection and government will also deny on facing abuses by refugees as there is no record made by immigration, according to the official procedure. There are recorded hundred in one only. This is simple and acting approve in media release. In the last year, I personally detained and faced physically abuses, but the criteria worded as allegation and denied the reality by both of concern quarters.”

8 Rohingya Burmese Refugees Arrested In Malaysia

 researcher Theng,


8 Rohingya Burmese refugees were arrested by Rela and Immigration raid, on 18 Jan 2009.


According to the source, Rela raid including immigration had lifted 200 of different migrants, from Subang Jaya, at about 1:30 am of the day. They were mostly Indonesians and Burmeses.


The source also added that “about 30 of them are Burmese reufgees and 8 of them are UNHCR’s recognized ID card holder Rohingya refugees. Before they arrested and lifted by lorry, some of them had been kicked and beaten by Immigration and Rela, as a result of showing UNHCR ID card and request to consider humanitarian ground. They would be sent to Malacca detention camp, due to overcrowding in Semenyith and Lenggeng camps.”


Mr. Habib, general secretary for Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization-Malaysia (MERHROM) said, “they would be released as DG of Immigration Dt’ Mahmod had confirmed the release UNHCR’s recognized refugees, in a meeting with UNHCR top officials and ten of refugee representatives from Selayang, in Putrajaya office, on 14 Jan 2009. If it is appreciated well, no refugees would be held in detention centers, any more.. At the same time, refugees community hopping the release of refugees from detention centers, instead of the process of deportation. This is an important and must be done without further delay, while it is a global concern and as Malaysia has urged to intervene in many different global crisises.”


He added again that the release of its refugees would not be delay for further requirement like body number/ (or) UNHCR ID number, while refugees remaining in detention centers and UNHCR has a good corporation. We had well experience that missing some lists in sometimes. The time, I personally detained, my name was not found there when our president had approached to concern quarters.


“letter to Reveal the Truth”

 a letter to reveal the truth, sent by a refugee activist………………

No One Can Hide The Truth”


First of all, there are many different plights in the world. However, who flee for fear of persecution by own government in own land, is a different plight. This measure of plight would not be present into other issues.


The world know that as the issues of refugees hosting in Malaysia and facing various violation by refugees including inhumane physical abuses and mis-advantagement on vulnerable status , is neither new nor today. It is clear if we look at Malaysia has not signatory to both of Refugees Convention, and therefore recognized and considered as illegal.


Since Burmese rulers did not recognize and accept as its own people, where they will be sent or handed over if they were detained. Whereas, UNHCR has adopted in later of 2006 and in its operation stated that if authority arrest and detained the refugees, UNHCR gave them full interview and those that passed were eligible for relocation to 3rd country. It called and made refugees to spent more in horrific condition. However, Rohingya Burmese refugees were isolated from this opportunity and they were not received this benefit.


If its operation is workable and in use if we look into the procedure of resettlement process, please look into the number of detained refugees and why its policy does not apply equal for Rohingya Burmese refugees. Rohingya Burmese refugees therefore they have to choose consently only a way of deportation. But, where? To whom? And how?


Following international laws, refugees can’t be deported to persecuted territory, and or to different land. And the host country has no policy to detained more than four months in covering the costs. Thus, Rohingya Burmese refugees have been handed over to traffickers ( may called service provider). As legal immigration deporting refugees by illegally, theses ways is benefiting for government immigration officials by receiving 300 to 600-RM for each.


If we needs more probes, lets allow refugees to speak freely under protection based. May I say here that humiliations, arrests, detentions, are being taking places in a major part of their lives. If we and service providers and custody are here and there, no more probes require.


While UNHCR is presenting as a main actor for refugees, we hope UNHCR will provide all records and reveal the truth.


Rohingya Community in Malaysia has sent a compassion letter to us, as follow;……


We, on behalf of Rohingya Burmese people, would like to thanks Americans showed on presidential election, which is cleared that the American people have no discrimination with ranks or race. This is why Obama was elected as president. Thanks and hope again for American leading world’s leader in refugee resettlement.

But, for the consequence of 9/11 post, some restriction was adopted in resettlement quota for security reasons. Again in FY 2004, refugee Admission program, Mr. Ken Baccon had repeated President Bush’s performance that unfortunate and unfair refugees must be understood in the context of September 11. It means those refugee groups are believed to be material support groups to.

While resettlement to signatory country is being an important safety net for Burmese Rohingya refugees, other signatory countries also reluctant to share humanity through this obligation. It is because of restriction at the world’s leader in resettlement country.

However, secretary of state Colin Powell had called for commitment of compassion, tolerance, humanity. Thus, some of non-Muslim refugee groups had been reflected by the will of changing restriction. Whereas, we Rohingya refugee are being isolated and marginalized from our obligation. We are not getting benefits from decades based refugee conventions.

Moreover, in coincide of playing double standard roles by Muslim refugee names were putting the ‘bin’ word, while UNHCR is acting as a main actor for refugees.

Therefore, once Obama was elected and acting as a world leader as well. So, we hope that there would adopt a legal resolution on emotional restriction. It would be mostly appreciated in sharing humanity.


On behalf of Rohingya refugees around the world

Arakan Rohingya Refugee Committee (ARRC), Malaysia

UNHCR Held Secret Meeting with Immigration Director Of Malaysia

 researcher Theng,

Yesterday on 14 Jan 2009, UNHCR held secret meeting with Director of Immigration of Malaysia, in 7th floor, Putrajaya office.


Meeting started about10:30 and ended at 11:00. In the meeting, 5 Rohingya and 5 Burmese Muslim refugees were accompanied by UNHCR, as they were brought as representatives for Selayang based about 300 Burmese refugees. And the attendants from UNHCR, were deputy chief representative Mr.Henrik, senior FST officer Ms.Ellie, assistant Ms.Mi Mi and a Burmese translator. Then, refugees representatives were not allowed to talk the truth or current situation including about 800 Rohingya Burmese refugees and others refugees.


Following to a local source from office, I am shocked on UNHCR stated that there are about 5,000 of Burmese Muslim refugees living and working in Selayang Market. In fact, about 300 Burmese refugees living in Selayang area and the most numbers about 30,000 are living in different area of Malaysia. And its mention can be sensitized and affects on refugees when the major concerns of crimes involving in Selayang area. Refugees representative said that the person who did not flee were now detained in detention camps. But no reply was allowed on DG asked why refugees flee if they saw the raids.


One of them said they had also brought the issues of inhumane treatments in detention center. We know how to ensure the way when DJ said that he will released if UNHCR recognized refugees were detained and called to bring the lists and their body numbers. Although we were invited for our concerned matters, we were not allowed to speak directly, there.



A refugee activist said, “activist are not invited previously by UNHCR because UNHCR officers had facing difficulties in covering their misinforming, illogical exampling and hypocrisy thesis. We activists were well known about how the situation would be responsed and reacted. It is clear that the refugees who are living near Selayang Market, are following the Laws of Municipal when they are in the market and also following the rules of immigration thus they were facing detentions and deportations. But don’t forget that the problems facing by Refugees in Malaysia, are not only in Selayang Market or today. I may say about Klang Market, there are many signboard hanging states that foreigners without passport and permit were not allowed even to enter into the market. And to ensure their rules and regulation, there are using to watch the market by Rela forces. Thus, refugees getting tensions over why UNHCR doing others,..”


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