By Ro ZR Arakani
Many members of the Rohingya community fled from the native Arakan state of Burma (Myanmar) in 1991-1992 due to the well-founded fear of persecution from the military junta and took refuge in Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. Etc. And nowhere to go still they are facing many challenges and statelessness too. They spent for more than 30 years, 25 years and 20 years over together with their families. Many of them were born and grew up there. But most of them had grown up in the refugee camp and in rural area of countryside. Besides, A few refugees were resettled to 3rd countries. Since then most of the Rohingya fled to Bangladesh refugee camp. In 1992 to 1997, about 2,5400 Rohingya Refugees had been forcefully repatriated to Burma, as they did not receive strong protection from UNHCR and other international agencies.
Due to the continuous persecutions and insecurity of living in Burma, most of the repatriated refugees are being compelled to be refugee again and languishing in both unregistered camps and local areas of Bangladesh and others countries. The life in the camp and countryside has no difference from the life in Burma and suffering from different kinds of harsh situation without shelter, education, fully restricted in terms of food, healthcare, movement, fabricated and concocted litigation or allegations and also encountered rape. Local hooligans from nearby villages come and pick up many refugee girls and some of them are forcefully married by local youths. False and fabricated cases filed against innocent refugees are very common in the camp life and those countries.
However, the head of refugee families and educated are major targets by local people and government authorities in order to repatriate refugees forcefully and push back to the country, and educated people have been spending their time with fears and tears as they have been targeted by certain groups of people who are taking advantages of refugees, In fact, who are very much connected with illegal activities to harm vulnerable Rohingya community.
Eventually, the government officials are extorting money from Rohingya because of using mobile phones, computers, and others electrical instruments. Though, some Rohingya are mandated by UNHCR. But, UNHCR has not been legalized to register newly arriving Rohingya according to the policy of those countries. UNHCR is only allowed to assist those who are registered and mandated.
Perhaps, the 1951 Geneva Convention and 1967 protocol for refugees become a burden for ASEAN countries.
In the lands of refuge, other refugee groups have got extra privileges from the government in university job and government job etc., except Rohingya. If they have rights of higher education, to work, to involve in business, they could have developed their lives in a better way. Without citizenship rights and legal documentations, this whole minority group became numb and barricaded to education, employment, business, free movement etc.
Though it is not possible to repatriate Rohingya people to Myanmar, the signatories Geneva 1951 Convention or those who are not, need to implement the practical solution for the survival and development of the people in the second country. According to international human rights, as humans, they should not be kept in such exploited and inhuman situation for so long time. Sadly, the world most popular human right champion and democratic icon Aung San Suu Kyi has also been acting as ignorant towards the human rights and the protections for Rohingya in Burma even though they have been living there for hundreds of years and a place where Rohingya were born, their parents were born, their grandparents were born, their great-grandparents were born. Still the religious persecution is going on. The stateless Rohingya began to lose their hope in DASSK.
According to Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia continue to threaten and intimidate to Rohingya, UNHCR is failing to register them, and the government is failing to protect vulnerable Rohingya. Their life become tougher here in Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and etc. The Rohingya are languishing in sub-human condition with the constant threat to living and liberty under those country’s legal frameworks which does not have legislation for the protection of them. Finally they have to spend their time with fears and tears.
Unfortunately, many Rohingya were kidnapped by people traffickers on 2014 and shipped to Thailand. They were freed in an anti-people smuggling operation and sent to a shelter but ran away from human traffickers. The human trafficking victims were re-arrested, sold to another broker and ended up in Malaysia, where they are surviving in Malaysia with hand-to-mouth income sources, — and worries about both their parent in Bangladesh and Myanmar and their people.
In those countries, they are not allowed to study and some are the registered, but also considered illegal in those countries. Even they are not allowed to work in those countries. One time, the police take money without any reason. Sometimes they are abused by police in those countries. Some of the Rohingya were forced to come to Thailand and Malaysia and others countries. So their family became broken. They lost everything — their life, family, career and community.
But they can’t go back to their parents and Myanmar. Beside, Bangladesh has been criticized for not opening its doors to the Rohingya refugees in recent times, as Bangladesh wants to overcome the situation regarding these refugee issues. The only hope left is that the Malaysia government will take good plan for Rohingya Refugees.
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