China, Russia can help stop violence against Rohingya, says activist

China, Russia can help stop violence against Rohingya, says activist
Kyaw Win says, the issue was not actually a new phenomenon, as in fact, the oppressive action by the government towards the ethnic minority had been happening for many decades. --fotoBERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR: The Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) believes that China and Russia should step in and put a stop to what it described as the systematic persecution of the Rohingya ethnic minority in Myanmar.

BHRN director Kyaw Win said the two major powers had substantial influence in their political and economic relationship with Myanmar.

"I believe these two countries could be the key players here because throwing their support behind Myanmar would probably end up having their own images tarnished in the eyes of the world.

"Although it is a kind of disappointment seeing not enough efforts at the moment from the Chinese and the Russians (in stopping the violence), we at BHRN welcome them to see what is actually happening on the ground.

"And if there is any country that has doubts, saying the issue was merely fabricated, we are more than happy to provide ample evidence and information," the human rights activist said.

China recently expressed support for the efforts by the Myanmar government to 'protect' its national security and profoundly opposed the recent violence in Rakhine State, which had seen almost 400 people killed in the fighting.
Other countries like Britain, France and Australia, and even Malaysia, have urged Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to push for an end to the military violence against the Rohingya Muslims.

A report released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights earlier this year cited "consistent testimony indicating that hundreds of Rohingya houses, schools, markets, shops, madrasahs and mosques were burned by the army, police and, sometimes, civilian mobs".

It also said that witnesses also described the destruction of food and food sources, including paddy fields, and the confiscation of livestock.

Kyaw Win said the issue was not actually a new phenomenon. In fact, he said, the oppressive action by the government towards the ethnic minority had been happening for many decades.

"In 1963, the government established a six-objective anti-Muslim persecution strategy, whereby no Muslim is allowed to be in the top-ranked positions of the military, politics, parliament, education and police. And no Muslim is allowed to be educated and do business either.

"And now, it is more apparent since they have introduced this National Verification Card (NVC). This for me is a trap because if the Rohingya actually accept the implementation of the NVC, there is a clause stated that it could be taken away if the authorities have 'doubt' on how they obtained it. The word 'doubt' itself is too general and could be abused," he said.

Kyaw Win explained that those who accepted the card would automatically be deprived of their indigenous status and the Rohingya could be deprived of their ethnic citizenship right by birth and their full right as Myanmar citizens could be at risk.

"So, there is an actual risk for the Rohingya to be stateless because the government is taking away their citizenship. So, the health care, the education, and other basic human rights are seriously being violated here," he said.

Commenting on the deafening silence of Suu Kyi on the Rohingya issue, Kyaw Win said the manner of the Nobel Peace Prize winner had been "very disappointing".

"I mean, she is globally recognised as the leader of the people, and the people are ready to follow whatever she directs ... but she failed again (in addressing the Rohingya issue).

"In fact, it's not only a failure, it's a falling for her because she betrayed those who sacrificed for her, and she even abused the international support which she had gained previously," the activist said.

Kyaw Win also expressed his profound gratitude over the efforts taken by the Malaysian government, especially Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in gaining justice for the ethnic Rohingya.

"We thank Prime Minister Najib for keeping his promise to raise the matter during his meeting with US President Donald J. Trump recently.

"We thank you Malaysians, particularly those who have supported the mission to ensure the Rohingya's human rights are justified," he said.