Wisma Putra: Asean Chairman's statement on Rohingya crisis a 'misrepresentation of the situation'

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 24 Sep 2017

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is disassociating itself from the Asean chairman statement on the Rohingya humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, calling it a “misrepresentation of the reality of the situation”.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said the statement was not based on consensus. 

“Malaysia had relayed its concerns over the issue but it was not reflected in the chairman statement,” he said adding that the statement had omitted the Rohingyas as one of the affected communities.

Issued yesterday, the statement had expressed the collective concerns of Asean foreign ministers over the “humanitarian situation” in Rakhine state without any mention about the Rohingya community. 

It acknowledged the situation in Rakhine was a complex inter-communal issue with deep historical roots and welcomed the commitment by the Myanmar authorities to end the violence. 

The Asean foreign ministers made the decision to issue the statement on Saturday after they met in a close door meeting on the sidelines of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. 

While Malaysia condemns the attacks against Myanmar security forces on Aug 25 launched by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), Anifah said the subsequent ‘clearance operations’ by Myanmar authorities was disproportionate and had led to deaths of many innocent civilians and caused more than 400,000 Rohingyas to be displaced. 

“We expressed grave concerns over such atrocities which have unleashed a full-scale humanitarian crisis that the world simply cannot ignore but must be compelled to act on,” he said. 

Anifah reiterated his speech at the UNGA urging the Myanmar government to end the violence, to allow immediate unimpeded access for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Rohingyas and all affected communities, and to resolve the Rohingya refugee problem. 

“Viable and long-term solutions to the root causes to the conflict must be found in order for the Rohingyas and the affected communities to be able to rebuild their lives. 

“We also urge Myanmar to fulfil its commitment to immediately implement the recommendations of the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State,” he said.

Anifah added Malaysia had sent humanitarian aid to Bangladesh for the Rohingyas refugees there on Sept 9 and would continue to do more.

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