UNHCR: We don’t want those Rohingya either, not our problem
Posted by Ann Corcoran on July 13, 2012
Too much of a hot potato for UN head honcho socialist and squanderer of our tax dollars Antonio Guterres also I see.
The gist of this story is that Burma’s (Myanmar) President apparently said to the UN—‘you take care of the Rohingya or send them to a third country for resettlement.’
From the Boston Globe:
YANGON, Myanmar—The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees on Thursday rejected a suggestion by Myanmar’s president that the world body resettle or take care of ethnic Rohingyas who have settled in the Southeast Asian country.
UNHCR chief Antonio Guterres told reporters it was not his agency’s job to resettle the Rohingya, who live in western Myanmar but without Myanmar citizenship.
On his website, President Thein Sein said he told Guterres in a meeting Wednesday that the solution to ethnic enmity in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state was to either send the Rohingya to a third country or have the UNHCR look after them.
Clashes last month between Buddhist Rakhines and Muslin Rohingya left at least 78 people dead and tens of thousands homeless. The Rakhine consider the Rohingya to be illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh.
Readers the latest round of violence began when three Rohingya men raped and murdered a Rakhine girl. Buddhists retaliated by killing Muslim “pilgrims” on a bus and there has been much rioting since.
Guterres, in rejecting Thein Sein’s plea, said this situation is not one the UN can undertake.
“The resettlement programs organized by UNHCR are for refugees who are fleeing a country to another, in very specific circumstances. Obviously, it’s not related to this situation,” said Guterres.
However, since the Rohingya are fleeing to Bangladesh (a Muslim country that doesn’t want them either), it strikes me as completely analogous to the Bhutanese situation (although that case doesn’t involve Islamist agitators).
Many people in Myanmar don’t recognize as legitimate settlers even those of Bengali heritage who came in the 19th century, when Myanmar was under British rule and called Burma.
Large exoduses of Rohingya to Bangladesh in the 1980s and 1990s because of persecution, and their subsequent return, also add to the confusion over who is an illegal immigrant.
The UNHCR (and mostly the US) did exactly what Sein is asking relating to the so-called Bhutanese who were really originally Nepali illegal aliens in Bhutan. Bhutan wanted Bhutan for its people and expelled the formerly illegal alien Nepalis. Nepal didn’t want them back, so camps were created by the UN and thanks to the Bush Administration State Department we now have tens of thousands of Bhutanese/Nepalis arriving in the US. (We were going to take 60,000 over 5 years, but I bet we are over that number now).
Don’t misunderstand, I am not advocating that we take the Rohingya Muslim problem off their hands, I’m just pointing out that Guterres is being inconsistent here.
Thein Sein again:
“We will take responsibility of our ethnic nationals but it is impossible to accept those Rohingyas who are not our ethnic nationals who had entered the country illegally. The only solution is to hand those illegal Rohingyas to the UNHCR or to send them to any third country that would accept them,” Thein Sein told Guterres, according to his website.
Meanwhile, an Islamist pressure group is turning the screws on democracy advocate Suu Kyi.
The head of the 57-member pan-Muslim body called for the quick “return of the victims to their respective properties”, expressing his “deep concern about the unabated and continuous violation of Rohingya rights in [Burma]“.
In the letter, Ihsanoglu invited Suu Kyi to visit OIC headquarters in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah.
Gee, while Suu Kyi is in Jeddah (with a headcovering) perhaps she could find out if there is truth to this 2009 story—that 3000 Rohingya are being held in Jeddah prisons.
New readers: This is our 110th post in our category Rohingya Reports. We have been following the issue for nearly 5 years and you should know that federal refugee contractors including the US Conference of Catholic Bishops are advocating for the continued resettlement of Rohingya “refugees” to your American towns and cities.
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