Monday, July 7, 2014

Calling Asean to strengthen Religious Freedom within the Asean region

The Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) and The Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) hosted a Consultation on Religious Freedom or belief in the ASEAN region on July 2 & 3, 2014 which was attended by about 60 people.

The Consultation was officially declared open by the YB Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, Minister in charge of National Unity in the Prime Minister’s Department.

This consultation reviewed the Guidelines prepared by the Indonesian Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) entitled “How to promote and protect the freedom of religion or belief in the Asean region?”

ASEAN & PROTECTION OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM OR BELIEF

July 5, 2014

Consultation Brief Report of Findings

ASEAN & PROTECTION OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM OR BELIEF

The Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) and The Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) hosted a Consultation on Religious Freedom or belief in the ASEAN region on July 2 & 3, 2014 which was attended by about 60 people. This consultation reviewed the Guidelines prepared by the Indonesian Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) entitled “How to promote and protect the freedom of religion or belief in the Asean region?”

The Consultation was officially declared open by the YB Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, Minister in charge of National Unity in the Prime Minister’s Department. Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah, the Malaysian representative to the Asean Inter-governmental commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the Indonesian counterpart HE Rafedi Djamin who was instrumental in the development of these guidelines for religious freedom in the Asean region shared some reflections. Also speaking at the opening was the EU Ambassador HE Luc Vandebon who drew some parallel developments in EU on religious freedom.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Muslim Rohingya women are pictured at the Thae Chaung camp for internally displaced people in Sittwe, Myanmar, on April 22. The stateless Rohingya in western Myanmar have been confined to the camps since violence erupted with majority Buddhists in 2012. The camps rely on international aid agencies, but still lack adequate food and health care.
Muslim Rohingya women are pictured at the Thae Chaung camp for internally displaced people in Sittwe, Myanmar, on April 22. The stateless Rohingya in western Myanmar have been confined to the camps since violence erupted with majority Buddhists in 2012. The camps rely on international aid agencies, but still lack adequate food and health care.

Minzayar/Reuters/Landov
Thirteen-year-old Zomir Hussein lives with his family in a simple wooden home in a village outside the city of Sittwe, the capital of western Myanmar's Rakhine state. Not long ago, he accidentally overdosed on medicine he was taking to treat his tuberculosis.

'The traffickers left us for dead': A Rohingya boy's quest for a better life

BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) ? By the time Muslim rubber tappers came across the boy in a jungle in southern Thailand, he was so weak he couldn’t even wave away the flies and mosquitoes that covered his body.

The teenager, a stateless Rohingya Muslim from Myanmar, had become paralysed from the waist down after 10 weeks in a traffickers’ camp overseen by brutal guards, where he was forced to squat during the day and sleep in a foetal position at night.  

The rubber tappers rescued the boy, whose name has been withheld to protect his identity, along with 30 others who had also lost the use of their legs, and took them to a nearby mosque where they were given food and shelter and slowly recovered.

The boy had left his home in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State after two bouts of bloody riots in 2012. Barely 16, he hoped to find a job to help his struggling family but was incarcerated instead, first by Thai authorities and later by human traffickers.  

Rohingya Crisis: An Agenda for the Regional and International Communities

Dibya Shikha
Research Intern, IReS, IPCS
Email: dibyagolden20@gmail.com
 
During the 2014 ASEAN Summit in Naypyidaw, the first one to be held in Myanmar, the plight of the Rohingya Muslims was left off the agenda. The failure to discuss the issue and the deliberate attempts by Myanmar to not recognise the Rohingyas in the recently held Census has once again brought the uncertain fate of the Rohingyas to the forefront.

Approximately 1,40,000 Rohingyas have moved away from Rakhine state due to large scale violence over the past two years. Although Rohingyas started fleeing way back in 1978, the Myanmarese government’s decision in March 2014 to expel humanitarian groups and prevent them from providing health care and aid has increased the number of ‘boat people’ moving to countries like Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia.

In this scenario, what can the international community do for a durable solution of the current impasse? What can the region do to pressurise Myanmar to accept these de jure stateless people? What should Myanmar do to solve the Rohingya crisis?

What can the International Community Do?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Reuters Wider Image: Sick and in crisis, religious violence in Myanmar






Attacks on NGO and U.N. offices by a Rakhine mob in March led to the withdrawal of groups giving healthcare and other essential help to many thousands of Rohingya displaced by Buddhist-Muslim violence since 2012 and now living in camps like the one pictured above.
Attacks on NGO and U.N. offices by a Rakhine mob in March led to the withdrawal of groups giving healthcare and other essential help to many thousands of Rohingya displaced by Buddhist-Muslim violence since 2012 and now living in camps like the one pictured above.

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Sick and in crisis

Sittwe, Myanmar

Brunei Sultan HM arrives in Myanmar today for ASEAN Summit (May 10, 2014)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam is scheduled to arrive in Myanmar's new capital, Naypyitaw, today for the 24th ASEAN summit.

The meeting marks a watershed moment in Myanmar's political history as the one-time pariah takes on the chairmanship of the 10-member bloc for the first time in 17 years.

During the summit, the leaders are expected to adopt the Nay Pyi Taw Declaration on the realisation of the ASEAN Community by 2015, and terms of reference of the ASEAN Secretary-General as the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator.

His Majesty will also attend a series of sideline meetings with representatives of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), civil society organisations, ASEAN youth, and the 10th Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines – East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).