ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights on Wednesday demanded that the Southeast Asian nations should impose targeted sanctions and an arms embargo on the Myanmar military for their involvement in genocide and ethnic cleansing on the Rohingyas at Rakhine.
Lawmakers at a press conference in Dhaka also urged the heads of governments and foreign ministers of the region to put pressure
on Myanmar to begin the repatriation process of Rohingyas in an honest way terming the crisis a regional one.
‘Our foreign ministers should start thinking about an arms embargo against the Myanmar army and targeted sanctions against senior army personnel involved in genocide and ethnic cleansing in Rakhine,’ ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights chairperson Charles Santiago, also a member of the Malaysian parliament, said at the press conference.
‘Best pressure on the army would be arms embargo,’ Charles Santiago suggested at the press conference organised to present preliminary findings of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights on Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh.
Lawmakers from ASEAN countries have come to Bangladesh to assess the Rohinyga situation, potential regional responses and what is needed to push their governments and the wider international community into action.
‘Southeast Asian countries can also talk to India and China in order to stop their arms trade with Myanmar, this is the call we are making,’ Charles Santiago stressed.
‘Russia, China, India should be held responsible and accountable. These countries should be responsible for any more death in Rakhine. It is their bombs, helicopter, arms, bullets, ammunitions, weapons which are used in killing the Rohingyas in Rakhine,’ he alleged.
‘We must tell leaders of India and China to learn to be responsible and behave properly and not to support any army that is killing their own people,’ he urged.
Charles Santiago said that Rohingya crisis was no longer a Myanmar problem or issues involving Bangladesh, rather it now grew into a regional problem for ASEAN countries with implication for human trafficking and regional stabilities.
ASAEN countries needed to stand up now, he urged, adding that heads of ASEAN countries as well as foreign ministers must put pressure on Myanmar to respect the Rohingya repatriation agreement with Bangladesh.
‘Our foreign ministers should have urgent meeting in order to discuss the repatriation process and put pressure on Myanmar to begin the process in an honest way,’ he demanded.
He also demanded peace keeping forces in Myanmar under supervision of ASEAN, the European countries or the United Nations.
Singapore lawmaker Louis NG, former lawmaker from Thailand Rachada Dhnadirek and ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights executive director Ismail Wolff also spoke at the conference.
According to the UN estimation, till January 22, 6,88,000 Rohingyas entered Bangladesh since August 25 when the new influx, what the United Nations called the world’s fastest-developing refugee emergency, began.
Officials estimated that the new influx already took to 11.07 lakh the number of Myanmar people living in Bangladesh.
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