By Mohammed Rafique, The Rohingya Post
“We once ate and slept on the side of the road and forest. At that time, there were people who have shown compassion towards us by donating what they had without discrimination based on religion. Now people are forced to flee in Rakhine State (Arakan) because of the war. As a gesture of compassion and solidarity, we, the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have donated to our Rakhine brothers and sisters”
On Wednesday, September 30, Rohingya students from Kutupalong Refugee Camp donated 500,000 Myanmar Kyat to Rakhine civilians who are displaced in the fight between Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) and Arakan Army (AA).
In a video released by the Rohingya students in the world’s largest refugee camp, they highlighted their journey into refugee camps in Bangladesh as the results of campaigns of genocide perpetrated by Tatmadaw.
“We once ate and slept on the side of the road and forest. At that time, there were people who have shown compassion towards us by donating what they had without discrimination based on religion.
“Now people are forced to flee in Rakhine State (Arakan) because of the war. As a gesture of compassion and solidarity, we, the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have donated to our Rakhine brothers and sisters,” said Kamal, a student leader who organised the solidarity campaign for the displaced Rakhine people.
The donation for food is being handed over to Rakhine Student Union based in Sittwe, Rakhine State.
“We rejoice in helping one another regardless of religion when people are in trouble (with Tatmadaw’s atrocities),” Ko Kyaw Naing Htay (Information Officer of Rakhine Student Union) reiterated the union’s stance on humanitarianism.
Rohingya refugees collecting donations in Kutupalong Refugee Camp for the displaced Rakhine people
On July 22, Rohingya students in Sittwe, the capital city of Rakhine State, similarly donated 300,000 Myanmar Kyat to the displaced Rakhine people.
On September 17, around 50 Rohingya students from Kutupalong Refugee Camp staged a protest in standing solidarity with arrested Rakhine students (Toe Toe Aung, Kyaw Naing Htay and Oo Than Naing) for protesting against Myanmar’s lack of response to combat COVID-19 in Rakhine State and for the internet shutdown and the military atrocities.
Since clashes broke out between Tatmadaw and Arakan Army in late 2018, nearly 200,000 Rakhine (mostly Buddhists) have been displaced across Rakhine State.
There are also over 120,000 Rohingya Muslims living in IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps in the state since June 2012, who have no access to education, healthcare, free movement or hope of returning to their places of origin.
More than 750,000 Rohingya were forced to flee into Bangladesh since August 25, 2017 after Tatmadaw launched the coordinated genocidal campaigns against Rohingya. Kutupalong Refugee Camp is now the world’s largest refugee camp where Rohingya refugees standing up for their sister Rakhine community who now face Tatmadaw’s atrocities.
“We, Rohingya and Rakhine are the ethnic groups who have peacefully coexisted for centuries (in Arakan Kingdom). Three years after fleeing the genocide being committed by Myanmar Military, we are standing up its latest victims – our Rakhine brothers and sisters,” added Kamal.