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Call upon stop further violence on the people in Arakan province

Thursday, 16 August 2012 00:00

We, members of the Buddhist community, read with deep concern and sadness on the development in Myanmar particularly with the reported ongoing oppression and massacre the Rohingyas. We feel deeply for the struggle for survival and the rights of the Rohingya people and are deeply sadden by the loss of lives and the extensive damage of property.

A disturbing report by Amnesty International on July 19, 2012 reported targeted attacks and other violations by security forces against minority Rohingyas. Amnesty International has also received credible reports of other human rights abuses against Rohingyas and other – including physical abuse, rape, destruction of property, and unlawful killings – carried out by both Rakhine and security forces.

It is also reported that Myanmar’s National Human Rights Commission said on 11 July that at least 78 people have been killed since the violence began, but unofficial estimates exceed 100. Amnesty International reported between 50,000 and 90,000 people – with lower figures coming from the government and higher ones from UN agencies– are estimated to have been displaced.

This on-going violence must be stopped immediately.

As Buddhists, the basis of our spiritual practice is anchored on the four guiding principles of Compassion (Karuna), Loving Kindness (Metta), Appreciative Joy (Mudita), and Equanimity (Upekkha). As such, all actions - through bodily actions, speech and thoughts must be based on non-violence and have a proactive approach to encourage peace, justice and freedom.

The Buddhist community in Malaysia strongly urge that: a. All action of violence against the Rohingya, be stopped immediately and all further bloodshed in Arakan be ceased. b. Call upon the Government of Myanmar and the Myanmar Opposition Parties to lead and to immediately intervene and stop further violence on the people in Arakan province. c. Allow on the Government of Myanmar to grant immediate access to independent and international monitors as well as humanitarian aid workers into the affected areas. d. All parties involved in the conflict to work towards resolutions in a peaceful and non-violent manner.