Burma should recognize Rohingyas as citizens: Valerie Amos

Burma should recognize its ethnic minority Rohingyas as citizens, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos has said to the press in Dhaka on December 3.
“It’s a great pity that the Rohingyas are treated as equivalent of football in a field. I am very concerned about the denial of basic rights to the Rohingyas. It’s important that Burmese recognize them. Government of Burma should recognize its ethnic minority as citizens.”

It is her first country – Bangladesh- of her week-long three-nation visit and left for Burma on December 4, than Thailand on December 8 where she will hold a press briefing in Bangkok to talk with the regional media about her mission and its findings.

Valerie Amos – the first black woman ever in a UK cabinet and also the first black Leader of the British House of Lords – appreciated that Bangladesh played host to Rohingya refugees in the past, and said she also expect that when “they’re (Rohingyas) persecuted, they get some supports.”

Without giving details, Amos said she had talks with the Bangladesh foreign minister on Ronhingya issues. In Burma, the violence in Arakan state has affected all communities, but particularly the Rohingyas. Her office allocated $11 million this year for humanitarian relief. A Saudi government pledge of $50 million, would help humanitarian agencies to step up their activities in Burma, and “help us to reach more people.”

“At the Indonesian parliamentary delegation to the two-day interfaith dialog with the Burmese parliament, pledged to encourage their government to recognize the Rohingya people as Burmese citizens,” said Hayono Isman, deputy chief of the Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Board at the House of Representatives which stated in Antara News on November 24.

“We hope, the Burmese government will change its stand to accept the Rohingya Muslims as Burmese citizens because they were born in the country.”

US President Barak Obama urged Burma to give citizenship to hundreds of thousands of stateless Rohingyas in the west of the country where ethnic bloodshed has caused massive displacement, on November 20, after his landmark visit to the reclusive South-East Asian nation, the White House in a press briefing said the Burmese government responded positively to the issue.

“Although the Royingyas in Myanmar claim themselves as aborigine, they are yet to get state recognition.”

The government of Burma should take necessary steps towards granting Rohingyas citizens’ rights and equal treatment and Burma must change its existing laws to allow the Rohingyas to become citizens, according to Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Bali Democracy Forum in Indonesia.

“This should include a review of the citizenship law to ensure that Rohingya have equal access to citizenship.”

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