Helping people fleeing Myanmar

In October the Christadelphian Samaritan Fund made a donation of £10,000 to an appeal by the umbrella group of UK charities UK Disasters Emergency Committee, and £5,000 to a similar appeal by the international disaster relief charity ShelterBox to help people fleeing Myanmar (formerly known as Burma).

File:Displaced Rohingya people in Rakhine State (8280610831) (cropped).jpg
Displaced Rohingya people in Rakhine State

Despite the formation in 2016 of a new democratically elected government in Myanmar (Burma) headed by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, the situation remained dire for the country’s persecuted Muslim minority known as the Rohingya.Problem with those people is that most of them are ‘stateless’. They were unable to obtain “citizenship by birth” in Myanmar because the 1982 Citizenship Law did not include the Rohingya on the list of 135 recognized national ethnic groups. The law had historically been arbitrarily applied in relation to those, such as the Rohingya, who did not fall strictly within the list of recognized ethnic nationalities. The legal status of a large majority of Rohingya was rendered even more precarious when Pres. Thein Sein unexpectedly announced in February 2015 the expiry of “white cards,” a form of temporary identity documentation held by many within the Rohingya community.

As an indication of its commitment to finding a solution to the issues, the government in August 2016 appointed former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan to head an Advisory Commission to undertake assessments and to provide recommendations.

Rohingya political leaders have maintained that theirs is a distinct ethnic, cultural, and linguistic community that traces its ancestry as far back as the late 7th century. However, the broader Buddhist populace in general rejected the Rohingya terminology, referring to them instead as Bengali, and considered the community to be largely composed of illegal immigrants from present-day Bangladesh.

Since 2016 there is a military crackdown by the Myanmar Army and police on Rohingyas in Rakhine State in the Myanmar’s western region. While the majority of Rohingyas are Muslim, attacks have also occurred against Hindu Rohingyas.

myanmar crisis.png

In recent weeks half a million people – mostly Rohingya women and children – have fled violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. They are seeking refuge in Bangladesh where they urgently need food, water, shelter and medical care.

For more information visit www.dec.org.uk or www.shelterbox.org.

This is yet one more sad example of man’s inhumanity to man, and we long and pray for the coming Kingdom when our Lord and Master will

“… judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4)

If your ecclesia or individual brethren and sisters are moved to contribute to these appeals you can do so by making a donation to CSF. Please indicate that your donation is for the DEC Myanmar Appeal or ShelterBox Myanmar Appeal.
Cheques should be made out to CSF and sent to David Ensell, Assistant Treasurer CSF, Westhaven House, Arleston Way, Shirley, Solihull, B90 4LH, or by bank transfer to account no. 60220760 sort code 20 77 62.

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Additional reading

  1. The Christadelphian Samaritan Fund – Data
  2. The Christadelphian Samaritan Fund – West Midlands > SolihullTotalGiving™ Organisation

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Related

  1. What’s going on in Myanmar?
  2. Myanmar’s foreign relations after the Rakhine State crisis (Part I)
  3. NZ Herald editorial: Burma ‘ethnic cleansing’ risks religious conflict in Asia
  4. Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Rohingya: ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ in a Buddhist country? by David V. Pearson
  5. Myanmar: Buddhist Monks March in Protest Against Violence in Rakhine State (2012)
  6. Myanmar Army clears itself of blame over Rohingya violence
  7. Rohingya ‘extremists’ trying to build stronghold – Myanmar army
  8. ‘Cynical’ Myanmar army operation aimed at preventing Rohingya return, U.N. says — Rape, Arson Murder — “Climate of fear and intimidation”
  9. Myanmar army chief says Rohingya Muslims ‘not natives,’ numbers fleeing exaggerated
  10. Army chief calls for unity over Rohingya
  11. Welcome Nowhere: The Plight of the Rohingya Refugees
  12. Rohingya crisis
  13. ReblogThe Rohingya – A People Brutalised
  14. Save the Rohingya

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