OIC to send fact-finding mission to Myanmar


Source from Saudi Gazette, 6 Aug 2012

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Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu

Saeed Al-Khotani
Saudi Gazette

RIYADH – The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is planning to send a fact-finding mission to Myanmar to probe the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, according to OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

He said after the conclusion of the Executive Committee meeting of permanent representatives on the Rohingya issue held at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah Sunday that the OIC will communicate with the government of Myanmar.

Ihsanoglu expressed his disappointment over the failure of the international community to take action to stop the ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the government of Myanmar against the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.

Speaking at the extraordinary meeting of the OIC Executive Committee on this issue, he said that the indifference of the international community with regard to the rights of the Rohingya people, and the disunity among the 25 Rohingya organizations had motivated the OIC to take efforts to unite these organizations at the OIC headquarters last May.

Ihsanoglu declared that the OIC has directed its UN office to work in coordination with OIC member states which are non-permanent members of the Security Council, like Azerbaijan, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo, to urge the Council to look into the sufferings of the Rohingya minority.

He suggested looking into the possibility of forming an Islamic fact-finding committee to find an ever-lasting and just solution to this pending issue.

Ihsanoglu called on the OIC Permanent and Independent Human Rights Commission to study the crisis of Myanmar Muslims and its human rights implications during its next session which will be held in Turkey by the end of this month.

The OIC secretary general wished if Bangladesh could review its position on the Muslim refugees from Myanmar, and at the same time said that he understands Bangladesh position and the sensitivity of the issue.

Dr. Waqar Uddin, Director General of Arakan Rohingya Union (ARU), who broke down in front of the participants, pleaded the OIC to render support to its brothers and sisters who are being killed and displaced in Rakhine State.

He supported imposing economic sanctions on the Myanmar government and tightening of Western sanctions imposed on it.

Dr. Waqar Uddin made a presentation on the condition of Myanmar Muslims at the OIC Executive Committee meeting.

In a report this week citing witnesses and interviews with 57 people in Rakhine state, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said there was evidence of “state-sponsored persecution and discrimination” against the Rohingyas, which number at least 800,000 in Myanmar.

The report said security forces had carried out extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest and torture and had done nothing to intervene to stop the lynching of 10 Muslims by a Buddhist mob, which preceded a week of riots, arson and knife attacks that killed 77 people and displaced tens of thousands.

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