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Jakarta Post

AICHR reps call for regional approach to Rohingya crisis

  • Dian Septiari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, April 23, 2018   /   12:01 pm
AICHR reps call for regional approach to Rohingya crisis This picture taken on Apr. 5 in Banda Aceh shows a small boat (front) from which five Rohingya Muslims were rescued by Indonesian fishermen after they were stranded at sea for almost almost three weeks. (Agence France -Presse/Ilyas Ismail)

Indonesian and Malaysian representatives at the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) have called on ASEAN member countries to identify more effective measures and practical steps to fulfil its commitment to bring peace and rule of law, and to promote harmony and reconciliation between the various ethnic communities in Myanmar.

“We are extremely concerned that in spite of the numerous ASEAN statements and the diplomatic and humanitarian efforts thus far, including initiatives proposed and solutions offered by some AICHR Representatives, the situation on the ground has not tangibly improved," Indonesian representative Dinna Wisnu and Malaysian representative Edmund Bon Tai Soon said in a joint statement The Jakarta Post obtained on Monday. 

The statement was issued following Malaysian and Indonesian authorities' intercepting several boats ferrying refugees from Rakhine State, mostly women and children, with the latest case occurring on Friday. 

The Associated Press reported that eight children, 25 women and 43 men were brought ashore on Friday at Bireuen, Aceh, in the third known attempt this month by members of the ethnic minority to flee Myanmar by sea.

The representatives called for a transparent, comprehensive, on-the-ground, needs- and rights-based assessment and risk analysis "to not only provide aid that is comprehensive, but also to ensure effective protection for the affected communities and to provide long-lasting solutions".

"This would require Myanmar to open up and share information in ASEAN Meetings. [...] Myanmar could invite the representatives of AICHR for a visit to Rakhine. The visit would allow us to obtain a fuller picture of the current situation, and to find better ways in reaching a lasting solution,” the statement said. (dmr)