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January 2023

Episode: KPN 26-01-2023

Kaladan Radio January 26, 2023 593 4

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Initiative By Rohingya Diaspora In The International Arena -ARNA -Part II

Recently, on the 75th Independence Day of Myanmar, the junta government awarded the prestigious state award to the Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu, who was criticized for his radical nationalist sentiments and spreading hatred against the Rohingyas. It remains to be seen whether this has any negative impact on resolving the Rohingya issue. Wirathu came into the limelight by demanding that Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim-owned businesses be boycotted and Buddhists are banned from marrying Muslims. In 2013, his photo was featured on the cover of the world-famous Time magazine and he was identified as the ‘Face of Buddhist Terror’. Wirathu is also referred to by many as the Buddhists ‘Bin Laden’.

National League for Democracy (NLD) was working to end the ethnic violence in Myanmar. NLD co-founder Win Tin visited the Wirathu’s monastery in the city of Mandalay two months before his death in 2014 to discuss the acceptance of Rohingyas by the extremist Buddhist groups, but their meeting failed to bring any positive result for the Rohingyas. International human rights groups have accused Wirathu of helping the junta to foment hatred against the Rohingya community, saying Wirathu’s anti-Muslim role helped fuel the junta’s crackdown on the Rohingya in Rakhine State in 2017. ARNA should be ready to work to make the existing situation favorable to resolve the crisis.

In December 2022, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution for the first time calling for an end to the violence in Myanmar, identifying the root causes of the Rohingya crisis and creating a favorable environment for their safe, sustainable and dignified return. The resolution adopted by the Security Council praised the government of Bangladesh for providing shelter, security and humanitarian assistance to the Rohingyas. The resolution also strongly highlights the negative impact of the current political unrest on the return of Rohingyas to Myanmar and the resulting regional security risks. According to China, there is no quick fix to the Rohingya issue. China expressed that, the ultimate solution to this crisis depends fundamentally and solely on Myanmar. Russia does not see the situation in Myanmar as a threat to international security and therefore believes it should not be addressed by the UN Security Council. India also abstained from voting on the resolution.

Brig Gen (Retd) Hasan Md Shamsuddin, ndc, afwc, psc, MPhil, Researcher on Myanmar, Rohingya and ASEAN affairs. Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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