ARAKAN ROHINGYA NATIONAL ORGANISATION
Declaration of the 5th Congress of the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation
The 5th Congress of the Arakan Rohingya National Organization (ARNO) was held on 3rd October 2013 in the border area of Arakan State, Union of Burma/Myanmar, with party leaders, community representatives, academics and religious leaders of the Rohingya people. A new Central Executive Committee (CEC) of ARNO has been formed with Mr. Nurul Islam and Mr. Habibur Rahman respectively as Chairman and Vice-Chairman.
The Congress issued the following declaration:
1. We reiterate that ARNO is a peaceful political movement, a leading representative organization of the Rohingya people, to achieve the Rohingya people’s legitimate ‘right to self-determination’ under the Union of Burma/Myanmar.
2. The unity of the Rohingya people worldwide is indispensable; and the unity between Rohingya and all peoples of the Union of Burma/Myanmar, through reconciliation, is vital ensuring the right of Rohingya people and that of their children to peacefully co-exist as equals in Arakan.
3. We are committed to pursuing a peaceful political settlement of our problem and urge the Burmese leaders to recognize our genuine cause and case in the interest of entire nation so as to find out a permanent solution to our long standing problem.
4. We are not part of any struggle outside Burma/Myanmar and are committed as a community within Arakan to rebuild the State. Our vision for the future is a diverse, tolerant, multi-ethnic, multi-religious Arakan society. We strongly denounce racism, racial discrimination, religious bigotry and Islamophobia.
5. We are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future Rohingya generations their ancestral history, ethnic identity, Islamic and cultural heritage.
6. We are determined to improve the condition of the Rohingya people living abroad, especially those living in refugee camps and those tolerated as boat people, guests or illegal workers – their legal status, human security, living conditions, access to health and educational facilities, jobs and training opportunities.
7. We support the rights of Rohingya women and girls to education, health and economic empowerment.
8. We pledge to protect the environment and preserve a green haven for our children and the world.
9. We condemn the ruling civil-military hybrid government of U Thein Sein for its nationwide human rights violations and perpetration of genocide, ethnocide and crimes against humanity against the peaceful living Muslim communities of the country particularly against the Rohingya people in Arakan in collaboration with Rakhine Buddhist extremists led by Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP), Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) and Nazi-like ‘969’ campaigns of terror headed by Buddhist monk U Wirathu. We demand that the government outlaws and bans those terrorist movements.
10. We urge upon the UN with international community to conduct an independent inquiry to the genocidal actions or crimes against humanity perpetrated against Rohingya and other Muslims in Burma/Myanmar and to make humanitarian intervention to protect the lives of the innocent people particularly in Arakan.
11. We deplore the continued hostile treatment and extermination of the Rohingya and other Muslims in Burma/Myanmar. The government could have stopped the series of deadly violence that have been taking place in Arakan and other parts of Burma since mid-2012 and the opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi could have saved many lives and properties if she spoke out, in a usual or expected way. We remind her, as a peace prize owner, not to remain silent in a situation of injustice to Rohingya people.
12. All sorts of killing and intimidation of the Muslims; blockade of humanitarian aids, food and other essentials to the Rohingyas and restrictions on their freedom of worship, movement, education; continual infliction of segregation and apartheid like situation on the whole Rohingya population; must be ended forthwith. The displaced Rohingyas and Muslims must be reinstated and rehabilitated in their original places and properties.
13. We express our grave concern over the current ‘policies of exclusion’ of the U Thein Sein’s government, Burma opposition groups and Rakhine political parties and non-state actors towards Rohingya. We warn and affirm that there would be no genuine peace and democracy unless ethnic Rohingya are fully included in the country’s political and democratic process.
14. We call upon the international community to help protect us and achieve a ‘permanent solution’ to our long standing problem, and peacefully resolve the manmade tragedies we have long been facing with, through political dialogue, in the interest of human rights, democracy, peace and stability in the region and beyond.
15. We welcome support from any quarters or groups as long as they respect our goal, specially our vision of tolerance and respect for all religions and universalism of human rights.
16. We appeal to the international community, UNO, OIC, ASEAN and neighbouring countries, international human rights organizations and NGOs for a permanent solution of the Rohingya problem.
Rohingya National Congress
Dated: 24th October 2013