Monthly Archives: December 2012

452 Rohingya refugees detained in Lankawi of Malaysia


Pl read by clicking the link-
1) 452 Rohingya refugees detained in Lankawi of Malaysia

2) 128 Rohingyas languish in India’s Andamans
Source bdnews, 30 Dec

Kolkata, Dec 30 (bdnews24.com)— The 128 Rohingyas, whose boat drifted into India’s Andaman islands earlier this month, say they don’t want to go back to Myanmar.

Authorities in the Andaman archipelago say the Rohingyas were trying to reach Malaysia from Myanmar’s Rakhine state, but their boat drifted towards the Andamans.

The boat came ashore at Narcoddum islands on Dec 9. Indian coast guards who intercepted the boat were told by the Rohingyas that they were trying to reach Malaysia.

"They said their condition in Myanmar is desperate and so they want to reach Malaysia. But now they are stuck here in the Andamans," said an Indian official.

The Indians are in a fix. The Rohingyas are determined not to return to Myanmar because they anticipate trouble if they are handed back. Malaysia, or any other country, will not take them for obvious reasons. India can only keep them for some time.

Hundreds of Muslim Rohingyas are trying to flee from Myanmar’s Rakhine state ever since the riots between them and Buddhist Rakhines erupted in summer and then again in autumn. Close to 80,000 of them have been rendered homeless and herded into makeshift camps by Myanmar authorities. Many have died at sea when their boats capsized.

bdnews24.com/sbh/0945h

Breaking News: Authority Carrying Out Mass Arbitrary Arrests in Maung Daw


Source Rohingyablogger, 29 Dec

Maung Daw, Arakan – Since 5AM this morning, the village of Khadir Bil (Nyaung Chaung), Maung Daw has been under the besiege and blockage of a joint department of Police, Hluntin (Security Forces), NaSaKa (Border Security Froces) and Military. The joint department is carrying out mass arbitrary arrests of innocent Rohingyas in the village.

“At 5AM, a joint department of Police, Hluntin (Security Forces), NaSaKa (Border Security Froces) and Military besieged the village Khadir Bil (Nyaung Chaung).They have put blockades around the village since then so that no Rohingya from the village can escape. Now the joint department is raiding every house in the village and arbitrarily arresting innocent Rohingyas. Besides, they have been harassing Rohingya women in the village. Meanwhile, some innocent Rohingyas are being released after extorting money.

U Khin Maung Shwe [sic], the Judge of the Court of Maung Daw Tsp, has been issuing arbitrary arrest warrants of Rohingyas in Maung Daw with the baseless accusations of their involvements in the violence. In the village of Baggona alone, there is an arrest warrant issued for 42 Rohingya people in addition to the previously arrested 54 innocent Rohingyas who are in the detention cells (the hells on earth) in Buthidaung. He, U Khin Maung Shwe, is a Rakhine extremist who has been, since June, in the forefront of arresting and killing of Rohingyas and exaggerating the violence against them.

He has issued an arrest warrant for 14 people in Nyaung Chaung village. Since none of them is in the village now, they have been arresting innocent Rohingyas from the village. We fear that we might the face the similar situation sooner or later” a Rohingya Elder from Maung Daw.

He added “most of the time, the authority and administration of Arakan, mainly composed of Rakhine extremists, carry out violence, arbitrary arrests and tortures against Rohingyas and Kamans without the permission and acknowledgement from NayPyiTaw (or Central Government). Sometimes, they don’t even follow the direction given by NayPyiTaw.”

Besides, as it has been known, the authority in Arakan is forcing Rohingyas to register themselves as Bengali, an identity they don’t belong to. Registration process includes taking digital fingerprints and photographs that will permanently make their Rohingya identity disappear. Now, the NaSaKa in Nagpura (NgaKhuRa) village of Maung Daw started to force Rohingya villagers to sign themselves “Bengali.”

“On 22nd December 2012, the commander Win Hlaing and Chief Staff (U-Si-Hmuu) Tun Tun Naing of NaSaKa Region (NayMayay) 5 started to force Rohingyas to sign themselves as Bengali. According to them, it is the order from higher authority Myanmar. If Rohingyas don’t follow the order, they will be arrested and prosecuted. The following Rohingyas were arrested as they hesitated to accept the term “Bengali.”
(1) Nazir Ahmed S/o Zakir Ahmed (30 years old)
(2) Abul Alam S/o Ataullah (27 years old)
(3) Noor Alam S/o Mohammed Shafi (46 years old)
(4) Hussien Ahmed S/o Noor Alam (19 years old)
(5) Zakir S/o Nurur Zallal (31 years old)
(6) Sayed Noor S/o Sayed (25 years old)
(7) Amnullah S/o Mohammed Ullah (31 years old)

The following two Rohingyas were forced to sign themselves as “Bengali.”
(1) Shakat Ali S/o Ashu Ali 35 years old
(2) Shah Alam S/o Mohammed Alam 36 years old” reported by the correspondent of ERC (European Rohingya Council) Media.

The pogroms and all kinds of atrocities against Rohingyas and Kamans have been being carried out in Arakan for months. As a result, they are now on the verge of extinction. Yet, International government bodies and communities are not taking effective actions to stop the genocides and man-made humanitarian catastrophe in Arakan.

Non-binding UN resolutions cannot help Rohingyas: Iran MP


Source islamicinvitationturkey, 28 Dec

pirhayati20121228141038233An Iranian lawmaker says non-binding resolutions adopted by the UN will not help improve the situation of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, urging the UN to take practical measures.

Mehrdad Baouj-Lahouti on Friday dismissed non-binding resolutions as ineffective in resolving the problems of Rohingyas, saying that the UN must deal with human rights violations across the globe without double-standard behaviors.

On December 24, the UN General Assembly expressed serious concern over violence between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists in Myanmar and called upon its government to address human rights abuses.

The General Assembly also approved by consensus a non-binding resolution.

The unanimously adopted UN resolution expresses “particular concern about the situation of the Rohingya minority in Rakhine state, urges the (Myanmar) government to take action to bring about an improvement in their situation and to protect all their human rights, including their right to a nationality.”

The resolution was identical to one approved last month by the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which focuses on human rights.

Rohingya Muslims have faced torture, neglect and repression in Myanmar since it achieved independence in 1948. Hundreds have been killed and thousands displaced in attacks by Buddhist extremists.

Buddhist extremists frequently attack Rohingyas and set fire to their homes in several villages in the troubled region. Myanmar’s government has been blamed for failing to protect the Muslim minority.

Rohingyas are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origin, who migrated to Myanmar as early as the 8th century.

Rohingya Trucked North: Checkpoint Exposes 127 in Minivan Convoy


Source Phuketwan, 27 Dec
Rohingya arrested in southern Thailand await return to the Burma border Rohingya arrested in southern Thailand await return to the Burma border
Photo by 77 nation channel

PHUKET: A total of 127 Rohingya have been arrested in southern Thailand and trucked back to the Thailand-Burma border.

Those held were in five minivans in a convoy bound for the Malaysian border crossing at Padang Besar in Songkhla province.

On December 24 a police-Army checkpoint in Satun province pulled over two of the vans, which each contained 22 men and boys.

The drivers of another three minivans fled after dropping off their passengers, who totalled 83.

The youngest of those arrested was a boy aged 10. Most of the captured Rohingya were teenagers or young men.

Hundreds are fleeing the Burmese state of Rakhine where thousands of homes have been torched since June in a simmering racial conflict between local residents and the Muslim Rohingya.

About 170 are reported to have been killed in the conflict, which has left thousands of Rohingya confined in displaced persons camps.

Many prefer to take their chances by paying people smugglers and fleeing by sea, with Malaysia as the target for most.

How the Rohingya arrested on December 24 got to Songkhla province in southern Thailand is not known. Part of their journey was probably made by sea.

Brokers on the Thai-Malaysia border are known to systematically transfer Rohingya south from camps hidden in plantations in Thailand with the connivance of officials in both countries.

The arrest of the 127 may have come because the officers at the checkpoint are not part of the system or rival brokers have perhaps fallen out.

The arrests were made by officers from Khuankalong police station in Satun, where Lieutenant Sompong Meechoo said local police were not part of any smuggling group.

”The Rohingya will be trucked straight back to Ranong,” he said, referring to the Thai-Burma border port hundreds of kilometres to the north where the arrested men and boys could possibly have stopped off on their journey.

Because the arrested Rohingya are inevitably all men and boys, some reports speculate that they could be heading to join the insurgency in Thailand’s south.

Thailand’s Internal Security Operations Command has checked out these reports over several years but never found evidence to justify them.

Isoc tallies 2817 Rohingya arrested or ”helped on” in Thailand in October and November.

Other experts in the deep south conflict say there has never been an instance where a single Rohingya has been killed or injured in incriminating circumstances in eight years of conflict.

Chris Lewa, director of the advocacy group Arakan Project, said: ”Rohingya only transit through Thailand on their way to Malaysia, helped on by Thai authorities.

”There has never been any evidence of Rohingya involvement in the deep South insurgency.

”Why should countries in the region repeatedly make these kinds of assumptions just because they are Muslims?”

The Rohingya are protective of their womenfolk, who seldom venture far from home. However, having a boy of 10 among the latest batch of arrests indicates some are becoming more desperate to flee Burma.

Hundreds of Rohingya are believed to be voyaging past the Andaman coast and the holiday island of Phuket this relatively tranquil October-April ”sailing season.”

Those apprehended on land north of Phuket are usually trucked quickly back to Ranong, often described as Burmese to reduce complications.

As stateless non-citizens, the Rohingya are not wanted back in Burma so they are usually delivered to people smugglers.

The smugglers demand extra payments and those who cannot meet the terms are usually put to work in fish factories or indentured to trawlers.

Earlier this month, Singapore refused to allow a Vietnamese cargo ship to dock with 40 Rohingya who survived a sinking in which 200 are thought to have drowned.

All of Burma’s Asean neighbors continue to turn a blind eye to the tacit ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya now underway in Burma.

Lawmakers- Arresting Rohingyas Alive, Retuning dead!


Source Rohingyablogger, 25 Dec

P1010034.JPG
Maung Than Soe (aka) Mohammed Khan

RB News
December 25, 2012

(Translated into English by M.S. Anwar)

A Letter from a Bleeding Heart to RB News

I, Daw Kyaut Khin at my 41, daughter of U Hla Kyaw, a widow and mother of three children, was born and brought up at the quarter of MyoThuGyi in Sittwe (Akyab), a place where we have been living for generations. On 10th June 2012, when Rakhine terrorists were killing and annihilating Muslims in our quarter, I was struggling to escape the horrific scenes with my two children (my eldest son was away from home on his trip) to save our lives. Meanwhile, my second son, Maung Than Soe @ Mohammed Khan (Son of U Maung Oo Shwe), was arrested and abducted by the two Police officers, Win Tun Oo and Than Shwe, from Police Station No.1.

My Son was trying to escape from the hands of the two Police officers and run away as he was too frightened, he was hacked with sword by the waiting Rakhine (Buddhist) terrorists and consequently got severe injuries on his head and right arm. I could not help and do anything as Police dragged away my son with such injuries. As I was attempting to run for life with my four-year-old child with a broken and bleeding heart, we were beaten and hacked by the Rakhine terrorists. As a result, I had to get my head stitched nine times and my four-year-old daughter also got injuries on her hand.

P1010030.JPG

As I was getting treatment in hospital for the severe injuries I was given, I got a chance to see my son, Maung Than Soe, from a distance, ailing from the critical injuries.

The lawmakers and authority of this country, feel it being in my shoes what and how I would be feeling going through such pains! I can’t explain!

On 19th December 2012, to make my heart bleed more, only the dead of my son, Maung Than Soe, was delivered to me from the above mentioned Police Station No.1. His dead body was full of injuries resulted from the tortures by the inhumane police.

My son was arrested 6-7 months ago and I was never given a chance to see him in the prison. I was never given a chance to provide him with foods and medicines. Which country on earth will have such lawmakers who arrest innocent people alive and return their mere dead bodies!!!

Feel it, how much pain we, weak and vulnerable people, are going through! My father is also a pure Rakhine and my mother is Kaman.

What fault have we done?

Is our fault that we are Muslims?

Concerning the arrest of my son, Police had never given me any notice or any other documents.

Is it that anybody here can be killed, hacked or chopped on mere reason that he/she is Muslim??

Daw Kyaut Khin
Sittwe

Myanmar-Kachin war escalates


Source Bangkok Post, 23 Dec
(Note: we are sorry for the Bangkok Post wrongfully mentioned as rebel.)

YANGON _ Fighting between ethnic Kachin rebels and the Myanmar army has intensified, causing increased hardship and fear at camps set up to shelter civilians fleeing the fighting, reports said Sunday.

The Myanmar Times quoted rebel sources saying that clashes occurred south of the Kachin Independence Army’s stronghold at Laiza, and near the town of Pangwa in the northern Kachin state near the China-Burma border.

"Day by day the fighting is continuing," said U Myint Thane, joint general secretary of the National Council of the Union of Burma, based in Thailand. "It has disappointed all of us."

Fighting in the Kachin state has frustrated efforts by the reform government of President Thein Sein to end the ethnic strife that has plagued the country since independence from Britain in 1948.

Kachin rebel leaders have blamed hardline officers of the army for mounting new offensives in the state.

"We’ve had reports that there are over 400 (Myanmar army) troops near Laiza and more than 500 near Pangwa," Myin Thane said.

Fighting has occurred every day since Dec 13, with the military deploying helicopter gunships and heavy artillery against the Kachin rebels, according to rebel sources.

The paper quoted an official of the aid group Kachin Baptist Convention as saying he was concerned that refugees in camps near Pangwa would have to leave if the fighting got any closer.

"The people are afraid because the fighting is happening near their camps," he said.

More stories: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/investigation/327559/no-end-in-sight-amid-season-of-slaughter

Related search: Myanmar, Kachin, rebels

UNHCR has a little interest in pubic pressure


Quotes by Dr. Zarni: For those remotely familiar with the UNHCR, this UN agency is an utter failure at worst and an ineffectual at best in fulfilling its mandate to protect refugees around the world. This despite some of the good and dedicated staff in the organization.

The way the UNHCR has been treating the refugees and their community advocates has reportedly been appalling – I’d say CRIMINAL.

Spread the word. Don’t let these pathetic organizations – Lords of Refugees – get away with their disgusting neo-Colonialist behavior and practices, if not policies.

We must remember that the United Nations IS beholden to corporate forces that wish to turn war zones into exploitable land, labor and other resources.

Quotes by KT Julian:
This is from Tim, a filmmaker here who recently shot a short documentary about refugees’ fears of the repatriation process. This is actually something that the international Burma activist community might be able to do something about, as I assume the UNHCR has a little interest in pubic pressure. Can you send this to anyone who might have useful contacts?
Tim presents: Nothing About Us Without Us:

A background to the film:

The basic is very simple – at a meeting between CBOs and UNHCR in August UNHCR pulled out a map of 13 relocation sites in Burma that had already been determined. Building had begun on the sites and one – Chookale – is nearly ready for being populated. UNHCRs exact involvement in these sites is unknown – they claim that they knew nothing about them until the Burmese Govt pulled out a map and said ‘this is what we are doing’. This may or may not be the case – we have people who are not prepared to go on record, even anonymously, who claim the UN has actually visited the sites. Hard to confirm. Either way, the development of the sites surprised CBOs and brought to a head their already significant concerns that the UNHCR were not being fully upfront in supplying information about repatriation. They also had significant concerns about what they perceived as the lack of a consultation process in which they were involved. This concern was reflected in Thomas Quintana’s (Human Rights Rapporteur to Burma) report to the UN General Assembly.

In addition, CBOs are well aware of the failings of the UNHCR in their inability to protect refugees in the temporary camps at Tassonyang following the break up of 7th brigade and also their ineffectuality after the post election / Myawaddy conflict. In a nutshell, I think it is fair to say that UNHCR is perceived by both INGOs and CBOs to have been pretty ineffectual in their ability to fulfill their mandate to protect refugees.
Anyway, as a consequence of all of the above but with the specific catalyst of the map as a particular instance which seemed to exemplify a number of CBO concerns, Burma Partnership in association with the CBOs commissioned me to make an advocacy film to draw attention to these issues. The goals are to increase UNHCR transparency and to improve both the information sharing and consultation processes of the UN. The means to achieve this is to have those who hold sway over the UNHCR (if anyone does!) – funders, govt representatives, INGOs working in Thailand, and the UN itself – be aware of the issues of concern. Hence the film.

As said in the email, UNHCR has taken a stance which is based, sadly, not on conciliation or acceptance that CBOs – whether rightly or wrongly – do not feel part of the process but instead are aggressively discrediting the film. This is not going to go down well with CBOs. I have already witnessed, first hand, the ability of the UN coordinator, Iain Hall, to shout over the top of a CBO representative. Really really poor form (this was at an ‘emergencty’ meeting instigated by UNHCR with myself, Burma Partnership and CBOs present.
And that’s a bit of the background. I hope it helps.
Peace and love
Tim

http://timothysyrota.org/2012/12/nothing-about-us-without-us-as-the-insults-fly-i-think-ill-lie-down-and-have-a-snooze-or-not/

http://karennews.org/2012/12/unhcr-under-fire-from-community-groups-on-refugee-repatriation-process.html/

Australian activist deported from Singapore


Source yahoonews, 18 Dec

An 81-year-old Australian human rights activist has accused Singapore authorities of holding him in a cell without food, drink and toilet facilities for nearly five hours before deporting him.

Brian Senewiratne, a long-time critic of Colombo over its treatment of Tamils, told AFP Tuesday he flew to Singapore on December 14 en route to Malaysia to give talks on the plight of refugees from Sri Lanka, his country of birth.

Senewiratne said when he reached immigration, he was led to a "10 foot by 10 foot" room where he waited for four and a half hours without basic facilities before being placed on a return flight to Brisbane.

"They (immigration officers) didn’t let me use my mobile phone. Then I said let me at least get the number of the people who are waiting for me in Singapore. They said no you can’t switch on your computer," Senewiratne said.

"So I had no computer, no passport and no mobile phone," the doctor added.

Senewiratne said an officer had told him before he was led under police escort to the plane, "You came from Brisbane and to Brisbane you will go, you are being deported under armed guard."

In an emailed reply to AFP queries, the ICA said it had conducted an investigation of the incident and "found Dr Brian Senewiratne’s account of his experience at Singapore’s Changi Airport to be untrue".

ICA "issued him with a Notice of Refusal of Entry within two and a half hours of his arrival," the agency stated.

"At no time did he request food, water or access to use toilet facilities, which would not have been denied to him if requested."

Senewiratne said he was contemplating legal action against Singapore authorities regarding his treatment and deportation, and would write to Australian foreign minister Bob Carr to complain.

More than 16,770 boatpeople have arrived in Australia in 2012, with Sri Lankans making up the biggest group, accounting for more than 6,360.

Singapore had in November deported another Australian, clergyman James Blundell Minchin, for "interfering in… domestic politics."

Minchin had shortly before his deportation given an interview to a Singapore opposition party where he discussed his book "No Man Is An Island – A Study of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew" which was published in 1987.

Lee is Singapore’s founding father and a veteran politician of the ruling People’s Action Party. He served as Singapore’s prime minister from 1959 to 1990 and is the father of the current leader Lee Hsien Loong.

Unwanted foreigners


Source thestar, 18 Dec

IT was reported recently that foreign prostitutes earn up to RM30,000 a month.

According to the Bukit Aman anti-vice, gambling and secret societies division chief, the lucrative trade is attracting women from Morocco to Mongolia.

After deducting expenses for room, clothing and cosmetics, they are able to nett RM20,000, and take a 10-day rest before getting a cheap flight back to Malaysia.

Last month, housewives in Sabah requested that the Immigration Department stop issuing visas for Filipina masseuses.

The truth is that Malaysian men are squeezed on a regular basis of their hard-earned money.

You also have loads of them working in bars where the modus operandi is the same.

For those from China, the Philippines and Indonesia, although they are only given a 30-day visa, they are able to take a short holiday to a neighbouring country and come back and get another 30 days.

They seem to be able to stay in this country for years on end.

The long stay allows them to foster long-term relationships.

Men are easily enamoured by their feminine charms and start to live beyond their means, inevitably ending up in broken marriages and becoming a one-way money vending machine.

Stricter immigration controls are badly needed.

Impose a two-month no entry period after the first three 30-day visas, equivalent to a maximum of 90-day stay in the country.

No tourist has enough money or time to be able to spend such a long period, ostensibly taking in the sights and sounds.

It might also be a prudent measure to interview women between 25 to 35 on their intent and ability to support themselves by providing proof of financial resources before granting any type of visa.

As for the masseuses, only issue visas for those exclusively employed at female-only spas.

We are also facing a similar problem with African Internet scam artists.

It might be prudent for a total recall of African residents in this country to re-ascertain their intent of stay.

Make airlines totally culpable for missing international passengers who arrive on tourist visas and never take a flight back.

An immediate measure would be for airlines to inform authorities of missing passengers daily.

Re-introduce visa requirements wherever deemed necessary.

With immediate effect, also allow only colleges with university status to enrol foreign students and all visas should be centralised within a single ministry, as spelt out by the Higher Education Ministry.

Malaysia is also a hub for refugees, especially those from Myanmar as the UNHCR (UN High Commission for Refugees) is based in Kuala Lumpur.

According to the UNHCR website, as of October there were 99,970 refugees and asylum seekers registered with UNHCR in Malaysia.

Of this, 91,520 are from Myanmar, comprising some 33,270 Chins, 24,880 Rohingyas, 10,460 Myanmar Muslims, 6,750 Rakhine, 3,630 Mon, and other ethnicities.

Perhaps it is time to re-look cheap flights to destinations that draw foreigners to this country as there needs to be a concerted effort to protect ourselves from unwanted foreigners.

B.J. FERNANDEZ
Shah Alam

Malaysia takes in 40 Myanmar shipwreck survivors


Source Asiaone, 18 Dec

AFP
Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012

20121218.192524_nosco.jpg
The captain of the Nosco Victory told The Straits Times that Malaysia’s maritime agency had sent a boat to the vessel on Tuesday to pick up the 40 people.

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s maritime agency on Tuesday said it "rescued" 40 Myanmar shipwreck survivors, who are thought to be Muslim Rohingya fleeing ethnic violence who had been denied entry to Singapore.

RELATED STORIES

The agency told AFP the survivors of a wreck off the Myanmar coast on December 4, in which 160 others were reportedly drowned, were in good health and being transported to southern Johor state on one of its vessels.

"I confirm 40 Myanmar nationals were rescued from the Vietnam-flagged cargo ship Nosco Victory," Hamid Mohamad Amin, the agency’s director for command and control, told AFP, declining to elaborate.

Singapore had turned away the ship carrying the 40 survivors amid media reports they could be stateless Muslim Rohingya.

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said it denied entry to the Vietnamese-registered bulk carrier Nosco Victory because of a lack of information about its passengers.

Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported the 40 were believed to be Rohingya, a stateless Muslim minority from Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine, who had been fleeing ethnic violence there.

Clashes between Buddhists and the Rohingya have left scores of people dead and displaced more than 115,000 people since June.

According to the Herald, the 40 were believed to have been in the water for 30 hours before they were rescued on December 5.

It said they were survivors from a Bangladesh-flagged ship that sank on its way to Malaysia, a largely Muslim country that has a big Rohingya population.

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