Thursday, January 10, 2013

Indonesia pledges $1 million to Rakhine’s displaced

Thursday, 10 January 2013 16:10 Peng Qinqin

Indonesia has pledged US $1 million in humanitarian assistance to help rehabilitate the thousands of displaced people—from both Rakhine and Rohingya communities—in Burma’s western Rakhine state, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency on Thursday.

This handout picture picture taken on January 7, 2013, from the Indonesian Embassy shows Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa (center left) walking with local residents during a visit to Rakhine State.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa made the announcement during his three-day tour to relief camps in the region.

Natalegawa pledged to provide the displaced with fundamental needs such as food, education, health, economy and job opportunities, and overcome the potential challenges in coordination with the Burmese government, Xinhua said.

Natalegawa also held talks with Burmese Minister of Border Affairs Lt-Gen Thein Htay over the conflict in Rakhine State, and the rehabilitation of internally displaced people, said Burma’s state-run The New Light of Myanmar.

Clashes between the two communities broke out last May. Riots and violent attacks were commonplace until October.  At least 167 people were killed in Rakhine State and more than 110,000 have been displaced from their homes.

The Rohingya are often referred to, by the UN at least, as one of the most persecuted ethnic groups in the world. Many observers say the violence in Rakhine and Kachin states has blurred the picture of Burma’s widely-praised reforms following decades of army rule.

Burma has asked international organizations to review their criteria for humanitarian aid programs. UN agencies, NGOs and social organizations are urged to cooperate with the government in the fields of relief and rehabilitation, the rule of law, and sustainable development.

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