Rohingya Students Donate Money to Displaced Buddhist Rakhine as ‘Gesture of Humanitarianism’
By Mohammed Rafique, The Rohingya Post
A group of Rohingya students handed over 300,000 Myanmar Kyat to Sittwe University Students Union on Thursday, July 23.
The donation was collected and contributed by Rohingya students who are undertaking Distance Learning at Sittwe University.
“It is a donation as a gesture of humanitarianism,” said Ko Toe Toe Aung who is Chairman of Sittwe University Students Union. He welcomed the Rohingya student representatives and accepted the donation on behalf of Rakhine who have been forced to leave their homes in the ongoing fight between Myanmar Military and Rakhine’s Arakan Army (AA).
“The students union recognises it as a good deed,” he told Narinjara News.
He further stated that Sittwe University Students Union “doesn’t look at the students based on religion or race.”
Maung Zin Min Tun, a second-year Rohingya student who is studying History at Sittwe University under Distance Learning programme, was accompanied by four more Rohingya students to hand over the donation.
“We treat all the people of Rakhine State like brothers. It is for the humanitarian reason why we donate to our Rakhine brothers and sisters who are facing humanitarian crisis,” said Maung Zin Min Tun.
He also expressed the gratitude toward the student union for accepting the donation on behalf of the displaced Rakhine civilians.
Rohingya students are barred attending universities including Sittwe University since the outbreaks of state-sanctioned violence against Rohingya Muslims in June 2012 which have uprooted over 120,000 Rohingya Muslims from their homes and forced them to live in IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps across Rakhine State.
While fighting between Myanmar Military and Arakan Army continues, both communities – Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims – call for reconciliation as ethnic Bamar controlled central government and the military suppress ethnic minorities.
Some prominent Rohingya activists and scholars call for dialogue with the ethnic Rakhine people to revive the peaceful coexistence that both communities have enjoyed under Arakan Kingdom before being invaded by the Bamar in 1785.
The Rohingya students’ gesture of compassion and solidarity comes amid the Rohingya community faces the ongoing genocide in Rakhine State which is being denied and defended State-counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who belongs to the dominant Bamar ethnic group, at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Photo: Rohingya students handing the donation to Sittwe University Students Union. ©Narinjara News