Tuesday, August 18, 2015

MYANMAR Diary part I

I came back from uk on the 13th and on the 15th flew to Yangoon for an onward flight to Nay Pi Taw. Unfortunately the Union Govt of Myanmar decided there is a security problem if I were to go to Sittwee though I disagree with them and told them so. My intendwd mission to Sittwee was to distribute a small token for Ramadhan.goodies to the Rohangya in the IDP camps. Albeit I was able to get my ngo humaniti permission to go without me. Myanmar for me is a fascinating counyry as it is endowed with all kinds of wealth n richness in natural resouces, beauty of landscapes with rivers and seas and human resouces. They are the only country in the world that have disenfrancised about one and a half million Rohingya of Rakhine State in order to maintain a purist buddhust state. This made the Rohingya to be stateless and non citizens in the wisdom of 1982 by Gen Ne Win. Worst now they are driven out of their villages and homes. Yet the government leaders in their coversations with me accepted generally both communities have lived together without conflicts for centuries. Unfounded rumours and allegations are circulated and its accepted as unverifiable truth to justify collective punishments by the extremists group without the govt taking action to stop them. 

When I inquired about taking actions against hate speeches by wiratu n his gang the response consistently is no because they prefer the soft approach. Its good but this must not be seen as a license to continue with criminal extremist activities. The voice of the moderate monks and Myanmar society are suppressed. Generally when I walked in the streets of Yangoon or even Sittwee I find the ordinary people are warm and friendly. The instigators provoked emotions and sentiments of hate and animosity. Eventhouh my meeting with the ministers were frank, cordial and I consider an improvement with very constructive and productive exchanges, they took a defensive position to explain what they are doing and the actions they have taken to protect the Muslims of Rakhine they called Bengalees. With OIC they refused to accep any help under the organistional name but prefer to deal with individual country on a bilateral basis that they consider acceptable like Infonesia, Turkey and Malaysia. 

There is still no committment .to change the status of the Rohingya. There is still a fear that the 2% Muslim population in Myanmar could overwhelm the Buddhist population. The Muslims have been made a political pawn in the democratic transformation process. The illegals and human traffiking problems have been used to deny the rightful citizens their status. ASEAN and international community must consider this a humitarian problem where the citizens have the right to protection by the UN consistent with international law. I left Nay Pi Taw overawed by the mamoth development taking place all over Myanmar but sad that a humanitarian problem is being considered lightly and often ignored. My fear is The Rohingya are forced to accept what they are not and coerced to leave the country. I arrived on the 17th June in KL and pray for Ramadhan Mubarak for all Muslims round the world. Malaysia is lucky and let us pray Allah will continue to protect and bless our people and country.

Fb SHA@19 June 2015

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