Religious tensions between Buddhists and Muslims in South East Asia jeopardize traditions of religious tolerance and co-existence. IHEU condemns the violation of the Muslim minority – the Rohingyas – based on their religious beliefs.
The IHEU General Assembly notes that the Myanmar government has the main responsibility for the Rohingya refugee crisis. The Government has forced hundreds of thousands Rohingya to live under extreme conditions in closed camps in Myanmar. The Government has introduced mandatory family planning as a response to an increasing Muslim birth-rate in Myanmar. This limits basic human rights for the Muslim population. Thousands of Rohingyas have fled the country and fallen prey to human traffickers and Myanmar is not taking the responsibly to protect them.
The IHEU General Assembly in Valetta, Malta 2016:
- Condemns the violation and denial of human rights for the Rohingya people
- Deplores the use of religion to justify the violation of human rights and legitimation of discrimination
- Emphasises the need to combat all extreme interpretations of religion wherever they emerge
- Rejects the notion that Islam represents a threat to Buddhist religion and culture
The IHEU General Assembly demands that:
- the government of Myanmar immediate abolishes all discriminatory policies and restrictions targeting the religious groups.
- the United Nations establish an independent investigation to investigate the alleged violations of international human rights and religious discrimination towards the Rohingyas.
- the Myanmar government amends the citizenship law to meet international standards.
- the government of Myanmar immediately removes the blockade of aid, food, and medical supply for the Rohingya camps.
- all governments in the region act immediately to bring migrants ashore and provide humanitarian and medical assistance.
- the Myanmar government brings to justice those found guilty of playing any role in the human rights abuses.
Suggested academic reference
'The situation for the Rohingyas', Humanists International, General Assembly, Valetta, Malta, 2016