Wednesday, 30th January 2013
STOP THE ROHINGYA FROM BEING PERSECUTED – You may have heard of the Rohingya and then again you may not. Before you just click another link to read something else or leave Meebal.com I would implore you to spare me a few minutes of your time and together we may be able to achieve something rather special, and it doesn’t involve making any type of financial donation.
My name is Graham Briar, I’m the guy on the left of the image above. I am the founder and editor of Meebal.com. I am of British Birth and I have lived in Thailand for over 8 years. I currently hold a British Passport and therefore I am a British Citizen.
On the right of the image below is a young man. I don’t know his name but I do know quite a bit about him. The young man is:
Rohingya – an indigenous people of Myanmar (Burma)
Stateless – the Myanmar Government refuse, even though the Rohingya can trace their linage back over 1,000 years in Myanmar, to recognize them as being eligible for citizenship.
Persecuted by Myanmar, Thailand and other Asian countries. I explain more of that below.
Unlike the mainstream Buddhist population these people are Muslims. After decades of abuse, at the hands of the so call peaceful Buddhists, these people are now escaping one tyranny for another.
The Rohingya have been systematically murdered, raped, tortured, sold into slavery and many other atrocities leveled against them. When it comes to persecuting the Rohingya, Myanmar and Thailand are one of the biggest perpetrators of crimes against the humanity of these people and yet despite calls for the UN to take action they do little that would force both Myanmar and Thailand into the cessation of persecution.
It was not 5 years ago, after the World poured billions of dollars in to countries, such as Thailand, in order to help it recover from the 2004 Tsunami, that it was discovered that Thailand had initiated a covert Government Policy which ordered the Royal Thai Navy to seek out and disable any boats carrying Rohingya fleeing from the tyranny and oppression from Myanmar. The true figures of how many men, women and children the Thais murdered during this period of covert ‘Push Backs’ is unknown, however since being found out the Thai Government has changed its policies, however these changes still grossly violate the UN’s Human Rights Convention and the UN and the world continue to turn a blind eye or look the other way in order to maintain cordial diplomatic relations with Thailand and Myanmar.
I am not alone in the belief that the UN is simply not doing enough to help the Rohingya. While Thailand and Myanmar continue to break UN regulations they have still received almost no penalties or sanctions for their atrocities and they continue to be well funded from countries such as Great Britain and the United States.
As you can see from the graphic, I am looking for your support, which is simply given by clicking the Like and Share button. Remember the more people share the more we can show the world that what Myanmar, Thailand and other nations are doing to these people is unacceptable.
Do you know what it’s like to be stateless?
I can almost say with absolute certainty that no person reading this is stateless. It basically means that you have no right to citizenship in any country – you are basically without a place to call home, which often results in persecution; as is the case with the Rohingya.
I have to admit I am pretty passionate about their plight; having stared into the faces of helpless children who are bundled aboard a boat in Thailand then taken out to sea where they can continue their journey to nowhere, is something that you don’t forget – this is exactly what the Thai authorities did just a few weeks ago.
Being stateless is a dangerous predicament to be in as it leaves you open to all manner of abuse, such as members of the Thai Army recently caught in human trafficking of the Rohingya for slavery and prostitution. You might think that the army personnel would all now be behind bars, but in true Thai fashion the punishment was simply to transfer these despicable human beings to another province. It is nice to know that the West continuously supports countries, such as Myanmar and Thailand through lucrative trade agreements and of course through the public generosity in times of dire need, as in the 2004 Tsunami.
The other day I went to see a friend of mine, a lawyer, and I discussed the writing of this article and asked for his opinion that if I were to renounce my British Citizenship in protest to the atrocities, what the consequences would be.
Renouncing citizenship would of course leave me as stateless as the Rohingya and therefore the Thai Authorities would have no choice but to arrest me. Obviously the Thai Authorities would not be able to deport me, unless the UK was willing to take me, but they would have no obligation to do so, and therefore it is likely that I could languish in a Thai prison for the rest of my days. Yes it is a very scary thought – but just think the Rohingya face this realization every day of their lives.
Like most things in life, if enough people come together then change can be effected and in doing so make life for others better. My friend went on to say that I should publish this article but not to make reference that I would renounce my citizenship, however if you could rally massive support, 50 million people or more worldwide, then renouncing your citizenship would be a very public affair and one where governments could not ignored. It is an interesting concept, but again like anyone trying to effect change I need people to help and by sharing this article you really can make a difference…
Please support my cause and click the Share and Like button – it’s not difficult so show you care. Thank you.
If you are looking for more information on the Rohingya, please read the following articles: