Rohingya Refugees’ Demands
We. the Rohingya refugees filled with concern over the agreement signed by the Government of Bangladesh and Burma for our repatriation. We are In utter confusion and apprehension whether the agreement deals with the basic cause of our problem as well as our status, safety and rehabilitation after we have gone to our ancestral homeland – Arakan. Over and above, we are also filled with fear and frustration whether the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), which is persistently violating human rights and freedom across the nation and refusing to transfer power to the elected people’s representatives, will rehabilitate all the refugees in their original hearths and homes, while the exodus is still continuing unabated.
It may be recalled that we. the Rohingyas have long been subjected to genocide, persecution, suppression. forced labour, rape and extermination at the hands of the Burmese authorities and repressive functionaries under the false and fabricated allegation that we are illegal immigrants or Bangladeshis, in utter disregard of our history, glorious past and Sultanate in Arakan. Prior to present operation about 1.2 million of our people had already been expelled who have been languishing in many countries of the world.
The repatriation agreement must be based on resolving the fundamental issue of the problem which will ensure our indigenous status, full security of our life, honour, dignity and property without any sort of infringement and Impediments in respect of our basic human rights and freedom. Mere repatriation of the refugees Is not a solution to our problem.
Our repatriation is a question of life and death for the entire Rohingya community. And. we. therefore, fervently appeal to the Government of Bangladesh. International community, the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and Muslim countries to pressurise the military regime of Burma to immediately concede to the following demands before repatriation : –
“The Government of Burma must declare in unequivocal terms that the Rohingyas are one of the Indigenous ethnic groups of the Union of Burma entitled to all human rights and freedom to be guaranteed by the constitution, at par with other nationalities of the country. To this effect, citizenship certificates authenticating our indigenous status must be issued to us before repatriation.”
1. The Government shall create congenial climate in home (Arakan) to ensure confidence, faith and understanding in the minds of the persecuted refugees:
2. The Government shall call back all armed forces from and stop forthwith all acts of terror in Rohingya villages and areas, and shall In their substitution raise the Rohingya militia to maintain Law and Order in the region;
3. The Government shall immediately stop and prohibit all racially discriminatory activities propaganda, laws, decrees and directives against Rohingyas including the most bias and trammel net like Citizenship Law of 1982;
4. The Government shall unconditionally repatriate and rehabilitate all the uprooted Rohingyas in their original places with adequate compensation under the direct Supervision of the United Nations keeping it’s observers in Arakan for at least 10 years;
5. The Government shall unconditionally release all the Rohingyas, throughout the Union of Burma who have been illegally arrested, convicted or being tried, and shall arrange for the restoration of the forcibly married or converted Rohingyas by non-Muslims residents of Burma and shall rehabilitate them in their original hearths and homes with adequate compensation for the looses sustained;
6. The Government shall immediately release and restore all confiscated Waqf, trust properties, mosques, madarassas and graveyards with adequate compensation for the looses sustained;
7. The Government shall give positive guarantee and categorical commitments that it will not violate again the Basic Human Rights and Freedom of the Rohingyas;
8. The Government shall employ the Rohingyas in all government services and shall unconditionally reinstate all the displaced, retrenched or forcibly retired Rohingya Government servants with all facilities and scopes including their back salaries;
9. The Government shall provide the Rohingya refugees with all necessary facilities for subsistence till they are fully rehabilitated;
10. The Government shall remove all non-Rohingya resettlements on the Rohingyas’ lands forthwith;
11. The Government shall unconditionally permit re-entry to all those Rohingyas who were expelled, deported or had to flee the country to escape persecution since 1948, and shall rehabilitate them in their original places with adequate compensation.
Dated: April 29, 1992
Rohingya Refugee Welfare Organization
Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh