SEPTEMBER 3 — The Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (IMAM) and our partners in the Asean region regularly operates clinics and charitable activities to cater for the health and welfare of the Rohingya refugees.
We therefore feel compelled to voice our concern regarding the recent escalation of killings of the Rohingyas in Rakhine state, Myanmar. About 400-3000 innocent men, women and children have been reported killed in the past week. 10 thousand homes and shops were burnt and destroyed by the Burmese military. Women and children have drowned trying to cross the river Naaf into Bangladesh. The ongoing violence against the Rohingyas is totally unacceptable by any standards of humanity.
The Rohingyas have been living in the Rakhine (Arakan) state of Myanmar for generations and centuries but have effectively been rendered stateless, with absolutely no rights in their country of birth.
Human Rights Watch in its 2013 report and the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR called on the Myanmar government to end the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas.
The Secretary General of the UN on 1 September 2017 urged restraint and calm to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in Rakhine following the security operations by the Burmese military.
The following day, the UN’s World Food Program suspended its activities of providing food aid to the Internally Displaced Rohingyas due to the increasing violence.
For the sake of basic human rights, decency and dignity, the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia and our health and medical partners in the Asean region; call upon the:
1. The Myanmar government to allow aid and relief workers to be immediately dispatched to the areas affected by the conflict, to assume their work without fear of violence.
2. Nobel Laureate, Aung Sang Suu Kyi’s civilian government to live up to the basic values of peace, justice and humanity towards the Rohingyas in Myanmar as Alfred Nobel willed, “ the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
3. The Myanmar government to work closely with her Asean neighbours to resolve the Rohingya crisis amicably and peacefully as “Asean Spirit Soar Above All Frailties And Boundaries, Asean Spirit Roar Against Wars, Pests and Miseries”
4. All Asean countries to allow in and provide temporary shelter to the Rohingya refugees as “Asean Spirit Leads Us To Justice, And the Common Good Transforms Us, Into Grains To Feed, Steel To Build ”
*This statement is issued by Dr Jeffery Abu Hassan, president of Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia, on behalf of Islamic medical associations of the Asean region.
**This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.