Australia's refugee community includes Rohingya individuals from Myanmar. As reported by the UNHCR, the Rohingya in Myanmar are one of the most oppressed communities in the world. With the refugee issue being a global issue, RISE (Refugees, Survivors, Ex-detainees) believes that it is important that the push factors that cause people to be forced to flee from their homes and seek refuge in other countries be addressed in a just, transparent and humane way.
RISE is therefore extremely concerned by an alert we have received from the Rohingya community in Australia about serious incidents of state sponsored ethnic cleansing and genocidal attacks in Arkan, Myanmar.
The community has informed us that the death toll of Rohingyan individuals now exceeds 10000 from the Sittwe township alone and several thousand from the Maungdaw, Rathedaung and Kyauktaw townships. Most of them were shot dead, brutally beaten to death and burnt alive. Many others have been taken away by security forces into hidden areas.
By September 2012 16000 Rohingya houses from 67 villages and at least 55 mosques from seven different towns of Sittwe, Maungdaw, Rathedaung, Kyauktaw, Rambre, Myebon and Pauktaw townships were burnt down and more than 100000 Rohingyas are displaced and facing direct harassment in these regions. Additionally at least 7 people a day are dying from starvation - most of them are children and elderly people.
We are alarmed by reports that since October 21 2012 the attacks have sharply resumed with another 1000 people killed, 6000 houses and more than a dozen mosques burnt down in 22 villages across six different towns - Minbya, Mrauk U, Kyaukpyu, Myebon and Pauktaw and Kyauktaw.
The involvement of the Myanmar government in the genocide of the Rohingya is evidenced by the following:
1) Imposing Curfew and Order on only Rohingya while Rakhine people are freely allowed to carry out killing of Rohingyas;
2) Permitting Security forces to shoot Rohingyas;
3) Seizing lands of Rohingyas which were burnt down and disposing them into concentration camps;
4) Blocking foods and compelling them to die from starvation; and
5) Rejecting their rights and pushing them to relocate to a third country.
Please contact the Australian Minister of Foreign affairs and relevant bodies and ask the International community to intervene.