A 7- members delegation of the Rohingya American Society (RAS) led by Shaukhat Kyaw Soe Aung (aka) MSK Jilani, met with Turkish Consul General Mr. Umut Acar on Wednesday, February 04, 2016 at the Turkish Consulate General office in Chicago, Illinois.
At the meeting, Rohingya issue was raised and discussed thoroughly and the Turkish Consul General assured that the Turkish government would continue to support the Rohingya minority cause and make effort to bring this issue to the international level and Burmese societies for the restoration of the Rohingyas’ basic fundamental human rights, including citizenship rights in Burma (Myanmar). At the end of the meeting with Consul General Mr. Umut Acar, the RAS delegation handed over-
“A MEMORANDUM TO THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF TURKEY”.
His Excellency Umut Acar
Turkish Consulate General
455 N. Cityfront Plaza Dr. (NBC Tower), Suite: 2900
Chicago, IL 60611 Date: February 04, 2016
A Memorandum to the Government and People of Turkey
WE, THE LEADERSHIP AND MEMBERS OF THE ROHINGYA AMERICAN SOCIETY (RAS) would like to introduce that RAS is a non-profit community Development organization duly registered and based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is serving the Rohingya community and Burmese Muslim for upliftment and development.
In 2014, under the program of the RAS, we established a Rohingya community center and a mosque in the name of Masjid Mubarak in which various programs for youths, children and women were undertaken weekly and bi-weekly basis on self-help basis. Now 175 children are studying basic Islamic teaching and Al-Quran daily in evening classes.
Taking this opportunity, we would like express our heart-felt thanks and appreciation to the people and Government of Turkey to come forward with helping hand to the violence torn Sittwe in Arakan state, Burma. We are very much thankful to the former Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (Current Prime Minister) along with the Former First Lady Mrs. Emine Erdogan and her daughter to visit the refugee camps in the year 2012.
Since then, Turkey was tirelessly working for the Rohingyas in Arakan state still today including the tough action of sending Frigate navy ships to oversee and rescue of fleeing, floating Rohingya boat people in the sea.
In this regard, we would like to inform you that recently there was a one sided and one of the most unjustifiable elections (Nov.08 2015) was held in Burma totally excluding 1.3 million Arakan native Rohingya people with deprivation of the voting rights of Rohingyas.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led the National League for Democracy (NLD) won with majority votes and the first parliamentary session was held on February 02,2016, the dirtiest parliament ever held since the independence of Burma (Jan-04, 1948) in which there was not a single Muslim and Rohingya MP.
The whole world is praising the free and fair Burma election 2015 and election winner party NLD under the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi whereas we, the Rohingyas cannot accept it based on injustice, cruelty and state sponsored slow burning genocide against the Rohingya ethnic minority people who are living on their ancestral homeland for many centuries.
Only few countries and some human rights NGOs expressed concern about the exclusion of Rohingyas in voting and election process but, no practical result was yielded and the suffering of Rohingyas increased in many folds.
On the basis of available update information, the current new Government of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is powerless to change the fate and status of the native Arakan Rohingya people under the current Myanmar Constitution which is run by top brass military Chief and the Army (Tetmaddaw) taking the four important Ministries, Defense, Home Ministry, border control Ministry and the Treasury.
The NLD spoke person recently announced that NLD Govt. has no any plan in the agenda about the Rohingya people and the current Commander in chief said Rohingyas are Bangladeshis and they are not citizens of Burma.
The situation of Rohingyas in Arakan state, Burma (Myanmar) is very serious now, currently, there are gross human rights violations towards Rohingya people. The Rohingyas are being beaten severely, tortured and killed. The Rohingya women and girls are being raped and killed. They were not given any treatment for their injuries and health problems even if they go to Govt. hospitals. The day to day lives have become like in hell for Rohingyas. The state sponsored slow burning genocide is going on still today.
We, our people, the Rohingyas in Burma become helpless and hopeless and we are at the brink of extinction. We have become the victims of Genocide and human rights abuses by the Burmese security forces and extremist Buddhist people because of our faith in Islam and our identity Rohingya name.
The Rohingya face massive violence and lack of basic fundamental human rights such as, access to healthcare, education and employment. They live in “apartheid-like conditions” due to, among other things, successive Burmese Govt.’s refusal to recognize them as citizens.
But, this is nothing new. Between May, 1991 and March, 1992, more than 260,000 Rohingya fled the country over “human rights abuses committed by the Burmese military, including the confiscation of land, forced labor, rape, torture, and summary executions.
Even Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Laureate who fought for decades for democracy, human rights and reform in Myanmar, has been conspicuously quiet on the issue of Rohingyas’national citizenship status.
So, we fervently appeal the Turkey Government to take active part for the protection and prevention of Genocide against the Rohingya people in Burma taking leading role.
We also appeal for the continued efforts of Turkey Government for providing humanitarian aids and relief in all available forms to the suffering Rohingyas in Sittwe and other refugee camps in Arakan State of Burma (Myanmar).
We have to continue raise our voice to highlight the injustices and gross human rights violations towards the minority Rohingya and other Muslims in Burma. We have to continue urging and demanding the United Nations, Powerful World Leaders and International Communities to take REAL ACTIONS to end the GENOCIDE against minority Rohingya Muslim in Arakan, Burma.
At this critical situation of Rohingya people, we need the continued help and assistance of the people and Govt. of Turkey along with other members of the OIC to survive on our native homeland Arakan as dignified people enjoying freedom, justice, equality, human rights, citizenship rights from the newly emerging NLD led Suu Kyi Government.
In conclusion, the RAS humbly urge the United Nations Security Council, the Government of the United States of America, the British Government, European Union and the Turkish government to:
- Prosecute all those responsible for Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity against the Rohingya minority. They must be brought to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for killing, raping, torturing, detaining and abusing Minority Rohingyas and other ethnics.
- Urge the Burmese government to amend or repeal the 1982 Citizenship Law to recognize the Rohingya people as a citizen of Myanmar.
- Urge the United Nations to establish an Independent Commission of Inquiry immediately to specifically investigate the gross human rights violations towards the Rohingya people in Arakan, Burma.
- Urge the United Nations Security Council to send their Peace Keeping Mission to Arakan State urgently to control and monitor the human rights abuses on daily basis.
- Urge the Turkish government and international community to more increase humanitarian aid to assist Rohingyas in Arakan State of Burma, both those who are in the IDP camps and Rohingya still in their villages under government’s restrictions. Assistance should also be provided to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh camps.
- There should be a significant increase in the number of international observers and news media groups on the ground in Arakan, and they should provide regular reports of situation of the suffering and vulnerable Rohingya people to the UN Secretary General and Geneva based UN Human Rights Council office.
We thank your Excellency for your time and patience listening to us and do hope you will do the best to save the minority Rohingya Muslims from the state sponsored ethnic cleansing and GENOCIDE.
The Executive Committee Members
Rohingya American Society (RAS)