ROHINYA MUSLIMS: right to water & sanitation crisis . . .

ROHINYA MUSLIMS: right to water & sanitation crisis . . .

Postby Oscar » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:58 am

Ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar creates a right to water and sanitation crisis

[ https://canadians.org/blog/ethnic-clean ... ion-crisis ]

September 15, 2017 - 5:44 pm

(PHOTO: The United Nations says, "In some makeshift sites around Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area, humanitarian agencies have built tube wells that provide a much-needed source of drinking water for undocumented Rohingya living outside the official camps. ©UNHCR/Saiful Huq Omi")

Up to 400,000 Rohingyas have fled the state of Rakhine in Myanmar/Burma for neighbouring Bangladesh since August 25. That's in addition to the 400,000 Rohingya refugees who had fled earlier from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

The Independent explains, "Rohingya Muslims face widespread persecution in Buddhist-majority Burma, where the recent violence has driven hundreds of thousands to seek refuge overseas. ...Members of the ethnic group are commonly referred to as 'Bengalis' by many in Burma who insist they migrated illegally from Bangladesh."

The Associated Press adds, "The Rohingya Muslim ethnic minority from Burma’s western Rakhine state has faced systematic persecution at the hands of the Buddhist majority for decades. The military junta that ruled the nation for decades stripped them of their citizenship. The democratically elected government under the leadership of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Aung San Suu Kyi has looked the other way as they have since been pushed into squalid camps in their own hometowns and villages."

Now Amnesty International says, "The evidence is irrefutable – the Myanmar security forces are setting northern Rakhine State ablaze in a targeted campaign to push the Rohingya people out of Myanmar. Make no mistake: this is ethnic cleansing." The United Nations has also described the situation as "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

Edouard Beigbeder, the head of the United Nations Children's Fund in Bangladesh, says of the situation now for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh (60 per cent of whom are children), “There are acute shortages of everything, most critically shelter, food and clean water. Conditions on the ground place children at high risk of water-borne disease. We have a monumental task ahead of us to protect these extremely vulnerable children."

The UN reports, "In its response, the UN agency has been dispatching trucks filled with emergency water, sanitation and hygiene supplies to Cox's Bazar (located near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border), with a steady stream of supplies in the pipeline for the coming days and weeks. ... UNICEF is also supporting the Department of Public Health Engineering with water treatment plants and carriers, and is working with partners on the ground to install and rehabilitate tube wells."

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on Suu Kyi to suspend military action against Rohingya Muslims and recognize their right to return.

This past Wednesday (September 13), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his "deep concerns" to Suu Kyi in a telephone call.

The Globe and Mail notes, "Amnesty International Canada and Human Rights Watch have urged the government to step up pressure on Ms. Suu Kyi and her government to co-operate with a UN Human Rights Council's fact-finding mission, whose members have been denied visas by Myanmar, and allow humanitarian aid into the country." And the CBC reports, "Some human rights groups and Rohingya activists in Canada have called on the Liberal government to strip the Nobel Peace Prize laureate of her honourary Canadian citizenship for her failure to address the violence against the Rohingya minority."

#Rohingya #Right2Water

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Re: ROHINYA MUSLIMS: right to water & sanitation crisis . .

Postby Oscar » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:08 am

Water grabs and the displacement of the Rohingya from Rakhine state in Myanmar

[ https://canadians.org/blog/water-grabs- ... te-myanmar ]

September 17, 2017 - 8:57 am

(PHOTO: CTV reports, "Hundreds [more accurately thousands] of people gathered in Toronto’s Queen’s Park on Saturday [September 16] to protest the ongoing humanitarian crisis facing Myanmar’s Rohingya minority. Roughly 40 per cent of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim population -- some 400,000 people -- have sought refuge in Bangladesh in recent weeks, fleeing violence widely blamed on Myanmar’s military that has seen entire villages razed and countless people killed. The United Nations has called the longstanding crisis in Buddhist-majority Myanmar a 'textbook example of ethnic cleansing'." Photo by Sid Lacombe.)

In late-2016, Reuters reported on "the systematic confiscation of land [in Myanmar] from farmers by the army and the placing of that land in the hands of crony companies close to the military junta that ruled Myanmar for half a century." That article noted, "The vast majority [of the three to five million acres of land] was taken in the 1990s and early 2000s, amid a military-led transition from socialism to a market-driven economy."

An article in Quartz by three University of Newcastle-based writers further explains, "Land has often been acquired for 'development' projects, including military base expansions, natural resource exploitation and extraction, large agriculture projects, infrastructure, and tourism. ...Development has forcibly displaced thousands of people—both internally and across borders with Bangladesh, India, and Thailand—or compelled them to set out by sea to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Australia."

That article notes, "In Rakhine State, Chinese and Indian interests [revolve] principally around the construction of infrastructure and pipelines in the region. ...Among numerous development projects, a transnational pipeline built by China National Petroleum Company connecting Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine, to Kunming, China, [that] began operations in September 2013. The wider efforts to take Myanmar oil and gas from the Shwe gas field [in the Rakhine offshore basin] to Guangzhou, China, are well documented."

Earlier this year, New York-based Columbia University professor Saskia Sassen wrote in The Guardian, "The world’s [media] coverage of [the sharply escalating persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine by the Myanmar army] has focused entirely on the religious/ethnic aspect [but] my research leads me to argue that [this] might be only part of what explains this forced displacement."

She says, "The past two decades have seen a massive worldwide rise of corporate acquisitions of land for mining, timber, agriculture and water. ...We must ask whether the sharpened persecution of the Rohingya (and other minority groups) might be partly generated by military-economic interests, rather than by mostly religious/ethnic issues."

And she highlights, "Myanmar has become a last Asian frontier for our current modes of development – plantation agriculture, mining, and water extraction. ...Seen from this angle, persecution of the Rohingya has at least two functions, even if unplanned. Expelling them from their land is a way of freeing up land and water."

This past April, our ally the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute published an article by Khun Oo of the Pa-O Youth Organisation who wrote, "The [National League of Democracy government led by Aung San Suu Kyi that took office in March-April 2016] keeps saying land is important and ‘the public is power’, but they act in the opposite way. ...The current peace process has not brought peace for farmers. Instead, it is a new era of conflict for them, because the land is grabbed and controlled by the military, the government and the investors with links to them, who do not care about the land [and] just as a way to make profits and to build their power to keep it."

Now, the Rohingya Muslims who have fled Myanmar for neighbouring Bangladesh face another crisis related to water.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Bangladesh, says, “There are acute shortages of everything, most critically shelter, food and clean water. Conditions on the ground place children at high risk of water-borne disease. We have a monumental task ahead of us to protect these extremely vulnerable children."

The UN estimates 240,000 children are among the 400,000 Rohingya who have fled Myanmar since late August.

#right2water

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Re: ROHINYA MUSLIMS: right to water & sanitation crisis . .

Postby Oscar » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:23 am

Statement on ongoing violence, displacement against Muslim minority Rohingyas in Myanmar

[ https://www.greenparty.ca/en/media-rele ... -rohingyas ]

September 13, 2017

(OTTAWA) – The Green Party of Canada released the following statement:

“International human rights groups are reporting that an estimated 370,000 Rohingyas, a stateless, mostly Muslim minority in the Buddhist-majority Rakhine state of Myanmar, have crossed the border into Bangladesh since August 25 as a result of village burnings, killings and mass displacement by the Myanmar military.

“While the Myanmar military denies it is targeting civilians, independent reports of horrific violence, and even intentionally set landmines against the Rohingyas are shocking,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said this week that the security operation in Rakhine appears to be ‘a textbook example of ethnic cleansing’. Given what we know, Justin Trudeau must be much clearer in condemning the State of Myanmar, and he must call on the Myanmar military to cease its assault against the Rohingyas. I also call on Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and honorary Canadian citizen, to condemn her state’s horrific actions in the strongest possible terms. Silence is complicity.”

Joe Foster, GPC Human Rights Critic, said: “In July 2011, Elizabeth May stated, ‘The Canadian government as well as the international community needs to keep a close eye on the human rights situation in Burma.’ Unfortunately, the world’s worst fears appear to becoming true.

“The extent and implications of this latest violence remain uncertain. To date, unverified estimations of the agencies working in the area are that 370,000 people are estimated to have crossed the border into Bangladesh. This represents a human rights crisis, one that must be addressed and condemned by the international community, including our Prime Minister. No people of the world should needlessly suffer and be chased off their land by threat of murder while the international community stands idly by.” - 30 -

For additional information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Dan Palmer
Press Secretary | Attaché de presse
dan.palmer@greenparty.ca
m: (613) 614-4916
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