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Saturday, May 30, 2015
URGENT APPEAL FOR HUMANITARIAN AID FOR DISPLACED ROHINGYA
The United Nations (UN) has called the Rohingya of Myanmar one of the world’s most persecuted ethnic minorities. Gross human rights violations of the Rohingya have been recorded since 1978.
The state sanctioned violence against them is symptomatic of a long and oppressive history of discrimination by the Myanmar government which has labelled the Rohingya illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. They are thus rendered stateless despite their presence in Myanmar going back many generations.
They are despised by most of the Buddhist majority and are denied basic rights such as citizenship, education, the freedom of movement, employment, the right to own property and marry without state permission. They are also subjected to forced sterilisation and forced labour.
The brutal persecution in Myanmar has forced the Rohingya to flee in droves as “boat people”, risking their lives on rickety boats on the open seas in order to seek a better life making them easy prey for human traffickers.
The discrimination against the Rohingya has been further reinforced by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) governments who have, for the most part, remained silent about their fate. Neighbouring countries have blatantly participated in push-backs of Rohingya boats which was a contributing factor to the current humanitarian catastrophe. In the past three months, alone, more than 25,000 Rohingya have left Burma by sea, more than double the amount during the same period last year.
Despite the efforts by various countries over the past week to find solutions to the Rohingya crisis which left 8000 Rohingya adrift on the Andaman seas, humanitarian aid is urgently required.
The following organizations have joined the appeal to protect the Rohingya: Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA), Media Review Network (MRN),Muslim Students Association (MSA), Cage Africa Ogaden Community Makopa Foundation BDS South Africa
We appeal to all South Africans to open their hearts and to contribute towards this worthy cause.
All contributions and donations are welcome and can be made into the following account. Bank Details –