September 10, Roghingyablogger

Prof. Dr. Wakar Uddin, Chairman of the Burmese Rohingya Association of North America and the Director General of Arakan Rohingya Union addresses before the rally organized by the Burma Task Force-USA (New York). On the Right: Dr. Shaikh Obaid of the Burma Task Force-USA (New York).

A large really in support of Rohingya political and human rights in Burma/Myanmar, took place in front of the United Nations building in New York City on September 8, 2012. The event was organized by the New York chapter of the Burma Task Force, in coordination with its members, the Burmese Rohingya Association of North America (BRANA) and Free Rohingya Campaign based in New York City. The major driving forces behind the rally in the organization by the Burma Task Force (NY) were Islamic Circle of North America (New York Chapter), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), Muslim Peace Coalition of USA, and Council of American-Islamic Relations-NY (CAIR). Over 500 people participated in the rally. Several dignitaries, Muslim leaders, human right advocates, and Rohingya activists from the United States also addressed the rally in solidarity with the Rohingya victims of Arakan in Burma, and the Rohingya community worldwide.

Dr. Shaikh Obaid of the Director of the New York Chapter of the Burma Task Force-USA presided the event with a keynote address followed by the speech by Nay San Oo, Information Secretary of BRANA and Co-founder of Free Rohingya Campaign; Prof. Dr. Wakar Uddin, Chairman of BRANA and Director General of Arakan Rohingya Union (ARU); and leaders and activists from several other organizations, including Al-Hajj Talib Abdur Rasheed, President of Islamic Leadership Council of New York Metropolitan Area, Mubasher Ahmed, Islamic Circle of North America, Abu Samia Siraj, Muslim Ummah of North America, Mazim, Jamaica Muslim Center, Imam Ayub Abdul Bhaqi, Chairman of the Social Justice Committee & Islamic Leadership of New York Metropolitan Area, Naji Al-Muntasir, Leader of Arab American Community, Mohiddin Yusuf Maung Sein & Shaukat Islam, Rohingya Concerns International, Abu Samia Siraj, the Muslim Umma of North America, and several community leaders and activists.

In the keynote speech, Dr. Shaikh Obaid emphasized the importance of the advocacy for the political and human rights of the Rohingya people in Burma, showing solidarity with the Rohingya victims, sustaining the current efforts by the international community, and mobilization of all sectors of the US Government to take the Rohingya crisis to the center stage in the international arena. Dr. Obaid also stressed the importance of the role of US Government, along with the international community, in bringing a resolution to completely stop the Rohingya genocide in Burma. Nay San Oo spoke the significance of sustained media coverage for constant flow of accurate and unbiased information to the international community, particularly to counter the negative publicity by the Burmese Government media and the sites of ultra-nationalist/racist Rakhine against Rohingya. Prof. Dr. Wakar Uddin vehemently demanded the Burmese Government to immediately stop the current on-going violence, particularly by the Burmese police and security forces who are arresting and committing cold-blooded murders of Rohingya people, and hundreds of rape cases and physical abuses against Rohingya women in Arakan. Among several issues, Dr. Uddin also demanded the Burmese President Thein Sein to publicly retract his recent statement of transferring the Rohingya (from their native Rohang of Arakan) to a third country or keeping them in camps. Dr. Uddin asked the international community to be vigilant about the hypocrisy and deceitful maneuvering by the hardliners in the Burmese Government as they are only waiting the international outcry against the Rohingya genocide to gradually dissipate, and then resume its old strategy to eliminate Rohingya population from Arakan state. He sent a clear message to the audience the civilized community of the world through his address: “we cannot afford to loose the current momentum, we cannot slow down, we cannot be distracted, and we must sustain this efforts to regain peace, justice, and all our rights in Burma”. He urgently appealed the United Nations not to accept the Commission of Inquiry appointed by the Burmese Government because the government itself and its police/security forces have been a party to the violence against Rohingya. He demanded the United Nations to send its own Commission of Inquiry, to resume and expand its various operations in Rohingya regions of Arakan, to send a peace-keeping force to protect the Rohingya from Rakhine and Burmese/Rakhine police/security forces, and to address political and human rights issues in the UN Security Council and General Assembly. Dr. Uddin stressed the urgent need to repeal the Burmese Military’s 1982 Citizenship Law (the Black Law) and restatement of Rohingya citizenship, based on the indigenity and history of the Rohingya people of Arakan, as the foundation to guarantee the political and human rights for the Rohingya in Burma. All the speakers had a resounding message to the people and the Government of US, and the international community: “Save Rohingya, Show Solidarity with Rohingya, Burmese Government Must Give Rohingya Back all their Rights, and Peace & Justice Must Prevail in Arakan, Burma!”

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