To Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, UN Resident Coordinator for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei
The Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia (MERHROM) would like to draw your attention in regards to the recent attack on both Palestinians and Rohingyas by Israel and Myanmar during the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.
We strongly condemn such attack as many innocent people have died especially children and women. We could not accept such act as it contradicts the International Laws and International Conventions.
Both Palestinians and Rohingyas faced continuous Genocide since the 1940s. We experienced the same critical moment where we face continuous attack from both regimes. Unfortunately the United Nations did not take any appropriate measures to stop the longstanding genocide that caused death to thousands of Palestinians and Rohingyas.
We felt very sad and heartbroken to see millions of human beings especially children, women and the elderly being murdered, raped, tortured and imprisonment for the past 60 years. The United Nations, world leaders and international communities have constantly talked about the gross human rights violations in both countries, how Palestinians and Rohingyas were oppressed and prosecuted by the regimes.
Further to that the United Nations itself announced that the Rohingya is the most prosecuted ethnic group in the world. However, until now no concrete action has been taken by the United Nations to stop the oppressions, prosecutions and genocide towards both Palestinians and Rohingyas.
The current situation is very critical. We do not know what will happen in the next few hours. The death toll is increasing for the Palestinians. As of now an estimated 173 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,200 Palestinians have been wounded badly. We have to stop this immediately to save the innocent population. We have to increase pressure to stop the genocide in both countries.
We strongly condemn Israel and Myanmar for attacking innocent populations, mosques, hospitals, schools, and madrasah for whatever reasons due to the facts that these are noble places.
We strongly condemn Israel for using bombs that can cause cancer to the Palestinians. Such attacks towards the innocent population could not be accepted at all as children and women will be suffering the most.
We strongly condemn Israel for destroying the water supply for the Palestinians as water is a very basic need for human survival.
We strongly condemn all countries allied to Israel for supplying military equipment to kill the Palestinians.
We strongly condemn the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for not doing enough to protect the holy place of all religions - Baitul Maqdis.
A few hundred thousands of people have died both in Palestine and Arakan State due to bombings, shooting, diseases, malnutrition and starvation. Thousands more of Rohingya drowned in the ocean over the years while fleeing their country.
We regret very much when the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon appealed for a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians. This clearly shows that the United Nations losing its mandate to secure the security of its member states.
We have done everything in the world to save us from the genocide but it was no use to help us. We have the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a super solid declaration which guides us how we suppose to live in this world. The UDHR clearly state our rights in very detail way.
Unfortunately in our cases, NONE of these RIGHTS belong to us. It is shameful that we only can see the UDHR on paper but we cannot embrace it in our life. All our rights have been taken away by the regimes.
We have the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) but none of their rights are guarenteed in Palestine and Myanmar. Ironically, children and women became the target by both regimes and suffered the most at any times.
We have the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute those who involved in the Crimes Against Humanity but it was not use to prosecute the head of the countries who conducted the genocide against Palestinians and Rohingya.
We have the United Nations Security Council which oversees security issues around the world but it was not use to secure the Palestinians and Rohingyas while we become the victims of genocide. We had urged the United Nations thousand times to take immediate action to intervene but it was not done except sending their envoys and making reports.
As a mandated body, the United Nations must treat all races and ethnic groups equally without being prejudiced to their religion. If the United Nations cannot function effectively, it will lose its credibility as a mandated body.
Human rights and international conventions are useless if these instruments could not stop genocide and other form of crimes against humanity. We should not call ourselves civilised nation until we respect each other’s rights.
We have no more time to talk and negotiate with the regimes. This is the time to take action against the regimes who commit severe crimes against humanity. The failure of the United Nations to stop the genocide is the failure of the world leaders and the international communities at large.
Human lives must be given the first priority before anything else if we call ourselves as a develop nations. We must contribute in whatever way to save the Palestinians and Rohingyas from the continuous genocide from the cruel and uncivilised regimes.
Israel is an illegal state which committed the biggest crime against humanity - genocide - for the past 60 years. All countries should not condone Israel’s crimes against Palestinians.
In this very critical situation, MERHROM urge the United Nations to:
1. Immediately send a peace-keeping mission to Gaza to restore a ceasefire and monitor the human rights abuses.
2. Urge Israel to allows foreign aid and aid workers to enter Gaza without any restrictions.
3. Urge the countries allied to Israel to stop military and financial assistance to Israel immediately in order to stop the killing of Palestinians.
4. Urge its member states to boycott all Israeli product as well as the products of countries allied to Israel until Israel stops killing the Palestinians.
5. Urge the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to immediately stop exporting oil to countries allied to Israel until Israel stops killing the Palestinians.
6. Urge all countries to immediately stop economic and diplomatic relationships with Israel immediately until they stop the attack on Gaza and Palestinians.
7. Urge Israel to free Palestinian prisoners.
8. Prosecute the current and former prime ministers of Israel for genocide and crimes against humanity. They must be brought to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for killing the Palestinians.
For the plight of Rohingyas in Myanmar, MERHROM urge the United Nations to:
1. Prosecute President Thien Sein and former general Thein Shwe as well as previous generals for genocide and crimes against humanity. They must be brought to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for killing, raping, torturing, detaining and abusing minority Muslims and other ethnic groups.
2. Urge the Myanmar government to amend the 1982 Citizenship Law to recognise Rohingya as a citizens of Myanmar.
3. Urge its member states to stop the economic and political relationship with Myanmar immediately until they protect Rohingya and Muslims in Myanmar with equal rights.
4. Eestablish an independent commission of inquiry Immediately to specifically investigate the gross human rights violations towards Rohingya prisoners in Buthidaung jail.
5. Urge the United Nations Security Council to send a peace-keeping mission to Arakan State urgently to control and monitor the human rights abuses.
6. Establish an independent commission of inquiry Immediately to investigate, monitor and access the situation of Rohingya in Arakan State.
7. Urge the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia (UNHCR) to speed up their registration process for the Rohingya asylum-seekers. At the moment the registration process is very slow and it will only leave the Rohingya with no protection at all.
8. Urge the UNHCR to process the resettlement of Rohingya refugees to third countries due to increased persecution by the Myanmar government towards the minority Rohingya.
9. Urge the resettlement countries to accept Rohingya refugees due to very low intake of Rohingya refugees into their countries. At this critical stage we appeal to the resettlement countries to accept the victims of genocide and give us a new life for our future generations.
We thank you very much for your urgent intervention to resolve the conflict and save the Palestinians and Rohingyas from genocide.
ZAFAR AHMAD BDUL GHANI is president, Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia (MERHROM).