Rohingya groups from across the world have signed a statement calling for a Global Day of Action on November 8 in support of human rights for the Rohingya people of Burma.
“We call upon all organisations and individuals who support human rights for the Rohingya to unite to take action on November 8th. On this date it will be 5 months since violent attacks against the Rohingya began in Arakan,” the joint statement said. “We call [on] you for demonstrations at Burmese Embassies or the Foreign Ministry in your respective countries.”
The Rohingya umbrella group, which includes Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK and similar NGOs in Europe, Japan, Australia, Malaysia and Thailand, claims that since violence erupted in Rakhine State in June, thousands of Rohingya people have been forced to flee their homes.
In its statement on Thursday, the group also drew attention to allegations that many Rohingya villagers have been living under a state of siege and that many are suffering from starvation and disease.
The Rohingya groups also called for support for its call to the United Nations to send UN peacekeepers and international observers into the restive region, the unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid to those affected, and for the establishment of a UN commission of inquiry into the violence.
They also called on the Burmese government to repeal the 1982 Citizenship Law under which the Rohingya are effectively rendered stateless.
The Washington-based US Campaign for Burma (USCB) released a statement on November 1 demanding “extreme elements from both sides [Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya] immediately stop utilizing violence as a solution, and to end the distribution of false and fabricated information with an aim to fuel further violence and instigating discrimination.”
USCB urged Burma’s President Thein Sein to take action against those responsible for the violence. It also called on the Burmese Parliament to review the 1982 Citizenship Law and amend the law in accordance with the international standard, thereby allowing stateless persons in the country to be granted citizenship.
“The recent communal violence in Rakhine State is a product of decades-long, deep-seeded cultural distrust between the two communities,” the USCB said. “When people are committed to the democratic principle to tolerate and respect differences, such distrust can be overcome, which sets up the future possibility of unity. Diversity is the destiny of Burma.”