Cii News, Pic: Cii News (MAGIB volunteers hand out pamphlets at the TRM in Lenasia) – 23 August 2012
A South African based human rights group, the Movement Against Genocide in Burma (MAGIB), has made all necessary preparations for a planned protest outside the Myanmar Embassy in Pretoria on 31 August 2012.
The action was prompted after years of discrimination and atrocities, carried out by Rakhine Buddhists against Rohingya Muslims living in Burma’s Arakan region under the watch of the previous military junta and the newly formed civilian government, was revealed. The UN has called the Rohingya the most oppressed people in the world.
In the last two months intense media coverage has exposed the extent of the violence meted out against the Rohingya following clashes between them and the Buddhists leading to the death of dozens of Muslims.
Despite the focused attention on the plight of the Rohingya, their oppression has continued unabated. According to Restless Beings, a human rights group highlighting the issue, Muslims in the Rakhine state were not allowed to perform the Eid prayer in congregation on Monday. Masaajid (mosques) have been locked since 8 June2012 as punishment to the Rohingya Muslim community for alleged engagement in communal riots.
In Some area authorities suddenly started forcing the Rohingya to perform the Eid Salaah all together raising suspicions that the security forces had ulterior motives. The Muslims refrained from attending the Eid salaah leading to the arrest of religious leaders.
The Buddhist monasteries however remain open.
Last week the organisation received reports that a new wave of attacks on Rohingya left hundreds homeless and looking for shelter during torrential monsoon rains whilst others were left dead.
“The recent clashes have been reported from 4 villages near Rauthedoung where as many as 12 have been killed with 1,000 Rohingya displaced as well as in 3 villages south of Maungdaw where 3 people have been killed this Thursday,” the report stated.
The plea for help and assistance has been responded to by various aid agencies as well as human rights protestors.
In South Africa, MAGIB, has planned a demonstration outside the Myanmar Embassy on Friday, 31 August 2012.
Organiser Bilaal Valley told Cii News all necessary preparations have been made.
“Our information flyers have been given to the Jamiatul Ulama [Council of Muslim Theologian] and they will distribute them to the masaajid accordingly. The guys in Laudium are busy sending our SMS’s to create awareness and we are expecting a lot of people from there.”
Buses have also been arranged for people willing to attend the protest. A bus will leave from the Trade Route Mall in Lenasia at 9.30am with buses also departing from Marlboro Masjid and the Mayfair Jumah Masjid at 10am.
The embassy is located in Leyds Street, Pretoria and the protest is scheduled to start at 1.30pm. Arrangements have been made for an early Jumah Salaah to be performed at Masjid Abu Bakr in Erasmia. The masjid has ladies facilities as well.
The organisation is running a Facebook page where regular updates can be found.
Tags: burma, embassy, magib, Myanmar, Restless beings, rohingya, South Africa