Wednesday, September 27, 2017

ASEAN Statement and Malaysia's response statement - Rakhine and Rohingya?

What is happening in Myanmar is a  gross injustice and human rights violations, where some have even described it as an 'ethnic cleansing' exercise. More than 400,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar... As Myanmar is part of ASEAN, the lack of ASEAN expression and action has been most embarrassing for ASEAN...and its members including Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, ...

ASEAN Chairman comes out with a lame statement about 'humanitarian aid' - and Malaysia immediately distance itself from that statement - see the Malaysian statement below?

Malaysia says that the ASEAN Chairman's statement is  '...a misrepresentation of the reality of the situation...' It also says, '...The statement also omits the Rohingyas as one of the affected communities...'

This is not a flood or an earthquake or a natural disaster - ASEAN needs to recognize this...ASEAN's 'consensus' policy which means it cannot say or do anything unless ALL ASEAN member states agree is foolish...and cripples ASEAN ability to act. This is the time for it to move away from this 'consensus' and allow ASEAN to act if the majority(or maybe a two third majority), especially is such human rights issues.

This a major problem that is still ongoing in the ASEAN region ...violence and killing is happening...About 400,000 of ASEAN people have been forced out of ASEAN... It is not simply a Myanmar problem - it is an ASEAN problem...

HUMANITARIAN AID alone is not enough... There is a need for a greater ASEAN response...

What response? Maybe an ASEAN Peacekeeping Force ...since one of the alleged perpetrators in this situation is the Myanmar Armed maybe, it may be best to immediately bring in an ASEAN Peacekeeping  Force to stop the violence and killing...

The next step will be trying to resolve this 'problem' - maybe an ASEAN Commission of Inquiry should be set up, to first investigate and understand the issue, and then propose recommendations as to how it can be resolved.. It is better for ASEAN to resolve matters within its territory, rather than forcing some other to do this...

ASEAN needs to have stronger response - either Myanmar agrees to an immediate ASEAN Peacekeeping Force to stop the killing and violence, or ASEAN must consider more drastic actions against Myanmar including sanctions...and maybe even re-considering Myanmar's membership in ASEAN. 

The religious factor in this problem is a major concern, given the fact that many ASEAN member nations are Muslim majority nations, or have a significant Muslim population...and also a significant Buddhist/Hindu population...Myanmar citizens, including migrant workers, are also in many of ASEAN nations - prolonged violence and conflict as such is most dangerous and may have an impact on the peace and security in ASEAN, and its member nations. It cannot be ignored on the ASEAN policy of 'non-interference' in the affairs of member states...


ASEAN Chairman’s Statement on The Humanitarian Situation in Rakhine State

The Foreign Ministers of ASEAN expressed concern over the recent developments in Northern Rakhine State of Myanmar and extended their deepest condolences to all the victims and affected communities of the conflict.  They condemned the attacks against Myanmar security forces on 25 August 2017 and all acts of violence which resulted in loss of civilian lives, destruction of homes and displacement of large numbers of people.

The Foreign Ministers acknowledged that the situation in Rakhine State is a complex inter-communal issue with deep historical roots. They strongly urged all the parties involved to avoid actions that will further worsen the situation on the ground.  They are agreed that viable and long-term solutions to the root causes of the conflict must be found, including encouraging closer dialogue between Myanmar and Bangladesh, so that the affected communities can rebuild their lives.  The Foreign Ministers welcomed the commitment by the Myanmar authorities to ensure the safety of civilians, take immediate steps to end the violence in Rakhine, restore normal socio-economic conditions, and address the refugee problem through verification process.

The Foreign Ministers welcomed the launch of the Myanma Government-led mechanism in cooperation with the Red Cross Movement and the assistance from the international community in these endeavours.
The Foreign Ministers also underscored the importance of increased humanitarian access to the affected areas and that assistance be given to all affected communities.

The Foreign Ministers supported Myanmar’s humanitarian relief programme. The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management(AHA Centre) will work with the Myanmar Government-led mechanism, which will deliver humanitarian assistance to all displaced inhabitants without discrimination.

The Foreign Ministers urged Myanmar to continue to implement the recommendations of the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State. They welcomed Myanmar’s establishment of a Ministerial Committee to implement the recommendations.

The Foreign Ministers were prepared to support the Myanmar Government in its efforts to bring peace, stability, rule of law and to promote harmony and reconciliation between the various communities, as well as sustainable and equitable development in Rakhine State.
. . . . .


I refer to the ASEAN Chairman’s Statement on the Humanitarian Situation in Rakhine State, which was issued in New York on 23 September 2017.

Malaysia would like to disassociate itself with the Chairman Statement as we are of the view that it is a misrepresentation of the reality of the situation. In this regard, Malaysia has made known its concerns but they were not reflected in the Chairman Statement. Hence, the Chairman Statement was not based on consensus. The statement also omits the Rohingyas as one of the affected communities.

While Malaysia condemns the attacks against Myanmar security forces on 25 August launched by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), subsequent ‘clearance operations’ efforts by Myanmar authorities was disproportionate that it has led to deaths of many innocent civilians and caused more than 400,000 Rohingyas to be displaced.

Malaysia expressed grave concerns over such atrocities which have unleashed a full-scale humanitarian crisis that the world simply cannot ignore but must be compelled to act on.

Malaysia strongly urge the Government of Myanmar to end the violence, stop the destruction to lives and properties, allow immediate unimpeded access for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Rohingyas and all affected communities, and to resolve the Rohingya refugee problem. Viable and long-term solutions to the root causes to the conflict must be found in order for the Rohingyas and the affected communities to be able to rebuild their lives. We also urge Myanmar to fulfil its commitment to immediately implement the recommendations of the final report of the Advisory Commission of the Rakhine State.

Malaysia on its part has dispatched humanitarian aid to Bangladesh on 9 September 2017 and will continue to do more.

24 September 2017

1 comment:

Unknown said...

migrant worker from myanmar recently had an accident. She fell from second floor of her hostel while dring clothes. It was 3 month ago and seems like it hurts her back and cannot walk anymore. is she entitle for compensation