Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rohingya coalition says some gov’t commission members biased

Tuesday, 21 August 2012 12:32 Mizzima News

Some members of the Burmese government commission charged with investigating the unrest in Rakhine State are biased toward Rohingyas, an alliance of nine Rohingya international groups said on Monday.

The group welcomed the formation of the commission, but said, “We feel this investigation will not be credible and truly independent because although the 27 member commission includes representatives from various religious groups, including Muslims (not Rohingya), Christians, Buddhists and Hindus, as well as political parties and democracy groups, Rohingyas who are [the] systematically targeted victims of that violence are excluded from the list.”

It said some commission members have either directly or indirectly supported the government or have added “fuel on the crisis” in the media.

The Burmese government announced the formation of the commission on Monday, in response to repeated calls for a credible investigation by international human rights groups and governments after violence claimed up to 87 lives and more than 5,000 homes destroyed in the past 11 weeks.

Dr. Aye Maung, the commission chairman, “proposed to segregate Rohingyas from the Buddhist Rakhine in every town and village of Arakan by relocating them in separate areas away from Buddhist Rakhine localities,” the group said in a statement.

It said commission member Ko Ko Gyi, a leader of the 88-generation of students, publically said Rohingyas were illegal immigrants and should be expelled from Burma.

Khin Maung Swe, the chairman of National Democratic Front, is a Rakhine and a strong anti- Rohingya campaigner, said the group.

It said the commission should include Rohingyas in order to make a “credible, reliable and independent inquiry rather than a window dressing inquiry.”

“We urge the international community to support a fully independent United Nations investigation into the events that have taken place since June this year,” it said. “We also urge the international community to ensure that the establishment of such an investigation is included in the text of the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly resolution on Burma, and in the text of the next United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Burma.”

The coalition said Rohingyas urgently need security and protection in Rakhine State.

The statement was signed by the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK; the Burmese Rohingya Association Japan; the Burmese Rohingya Association Deutschland; the Burmese Rohingya Community in Australia; the Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand; the Burmese Rohingya Community in Denmark; the Rohingya League for Democracy (Burma); and the Rohingya Community in Norway.

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