Sunday, 19 May 2019

Dear Mr. President and the Distinguished Dignitaries,

First  of all, I would  like extend my  deepest  appreciations  to H'able  Mr. Ham Yawnghwe , Mr. Nurul Islam , Mr. AFK Jilani and distinguished academicians of the Chulalonkomg  University  for their Endeavour in organising this precious consultation. Secondly, on behalf of BRCA (Burmese Rohingya Community in Australia), we are very much grateful to have a chance in this consultation.

Rohingya have been living in coexistence along with Rakhine and others in Arakan State for Centuries. Former Prime Minister U Nu and other leaders of democratically elected governments had acknowledged Rohingya as an indigenous ethnic of Burma and they were able to exercise their privileges equally to all other citizens of the country. In addition, there were many Rohinya representatives in the legislative council, the judiciary council and the executive council of Burma during the period of parliamentary government.

Regrettably, in the course of the history, Burma was derailed from system of parliamentary democracy and mainstream socioeconomic development due to military coup led by late General Ne Win in 1962. We all are aware that subsequent policies, under the military rule, change our country from one of the resourceful and developing countries to the least developed one in the region. Almost all Burmese citizens, irrespective of race and religion, are the victim of serious human right violation in one form or another under this military regime. In this course of misfortune on Burma, the military junta forcefully made Rohingyas into non citizen and eventually labelled them as alien or stateless people of Burma. The notorious act was a direct violation of the article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and caused major catastrophes of displacing hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas from their permanent home. As a result, Rohingyas are the most marginalised community in Burma and have to bear extraordinary (value added) human right violation on top of the usual suffering of the average Burmese. Human Right violation on Rohingya comprises severe travel restriction, denial of identity, confiscation of lands and properties, forced labour, forced relocation, deprivation of education and business, artificial economic strangulation, daily extortion and last but not least.... inflammatory remarks and degratory words on almost all Rohingyas in daily life. .  As the result of the military government’s hostile policy against Rohingyas there had been two major refugee exodus which occurred in 1978 and 1991. There are still 20, 000 Rohingya who have been living in Refugee camps in Bangladesh and waiting for their undetermined fate.

As my personal experience, I was born and brought up in Arakan, Burma. So as for my father, grant father, great grand father and so on. I was denied citizenship in Burma along with other Rohingya countrymen. I came to Australia in 1998 and became citizen in 2000. May I ask simple question? "What's wrong with my country Burma?"

We therefore call upon to the future democratic government of Burma to foster a new democratic approach towards Rohingya which will accommodate the following points:-

  1. Rohmgyas are the citizen of Burma.
  2. Rohingyas should be treated humanely.
  3. Rohingyas should be given equal opportunities and due share in the legislative, the judiciary and the executive power of the future administration of Burma.
  4. Rohingyas should be given equal opportunities and due share in the education, economy, healthcare and also in the future reconstruction of Burma.
  5. Rohingyas should be protected by constitution from any sorts of racial and religious hostilities and discrimination.

In Conclusion, I would like to address that Rohingyas are peace loving people and we are very keen to live in a harmony with any other tribes in coexistence. The world is heading new direction with competitiveness and Burma should not be left behind. We should forget the past and lead the country for bright future by minimizing conflicts and maximising productivity with collective workforce. We wish for developed and harmonious Burma.

I once again, extend my terms of gratitude to all parties who were involved in organizing this prestigious event. I would also like to thank to all the audiences for paying their attentions to my statement.

Thank you,

Yours Sincerely,

Kyaw Maung Shamsul Islam,

General Secretary

Bunnese Rohingya Community in Australia

No.50, Ernest Street, Lakemba, N.S.W.2195

Sydney, Australia.  Tel: 61 29758 3360,

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., website: www.brca99.org

This paper was submitted at First Rohingya Consultation: Working together to find a solution, on 2-3 August 2006, Sigha Dum Conference Room, Faculty of Political science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, Organized by Centre for Social Development, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, In cooperation with the National Reconciliation Programme (NRP).