News / Asia

UN, UK Call for Burma to Allow Humanitarian Aid into Rakhine

A Burmese Muslim family, who identify themselves as long-persecuted “Rohingya” Muslims, look out from their tents at Da Paing camp for Muslim refugees in north of Sittwe, Rakhine State, western Burma, April 2, 2014.
A Burmese Muslim family, who identify themselves as long-persecuted “Rohingya” Muslims, look out from their tents at Da Paing camp for Muslim refugees in north of Sittwe, Rakhine State, western Burma, April 2, 2014.
Gabrielle Paluch
The U.N.’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights to Burma is urging the government to allow foreign aid workers to return to Rakhine state. The workers were evacuated last month because of ethnic unrest, but the U.N. warns their departure has led to severe consequences for at least 140,000 displaced people living in temporary camps.
 
U.N. spokesperson Pierre Peron said time is running out for the 140,000 people displaced by violence who are living in camps.
 
"We have people who will run out of food in the next two weeks if we can't distribute food to the camps," he said. "We have a peak in the dry season at the moment and water levels are running very low and we need to be able to bring water to people who need it and most importantly people need to have access to health services and at the moment emergency health cases are not being referred to the hospitals simply because the NGOs are not there."
 
For years, international rights groups have criticized government policies that deny the Rohingya citizenship, and restrict their travel.
 
During the past two years, ethnic and religious tensions have led to violence between the Muslim Rohingya and Buddhist Rakhine communities in Rakhine state. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled their homes for temporary camps, where they depend on international aid for survival.
 
Foreign aid groups were forced to leave in March after violent mobs attacked some offices.  Tomas Quintana, the U.N.'s Special Rapporteur for human rights to Burma, warned that an impending humanitarian crisis now looms.
 
This is the second time Quintana has raised the possibility of crimes against humanity in Rakhine state, but Burmese officials contacted by VOA declined to respond to the claim.
 
On Monday, a senior member of the British Foreign Office, Hugo Swire, met Burma's ambassador in London to raise concerns about humanitarian aid.
 
Joseph Fisher, a spokesperson for the British embassy in Rangoon, said Swire hopes to urge the government to fully restore humanitarian aid.

"As a result of those developments hundreds of thousands of people in Rakhine state mainly from the Rohingya community are not receiving vital and medical and humanitarian aid," he said. "So the minister, in his discussions with the ambassador, called on the Burmese government to urgently restore humanitarian access to all communities in need and to ensure the security of aid workers and all communities in Rakhine state."
 
Last week, U.S. Department of State spokesperson Marie Harf urged the Burmese government to rescind travel restrictions placed on aid workers. Burma claimed these were in place for the safety of aid workers.
 
A government investigation into the attacks in Sittwe was scheduled to present its findings to the president Monday, but the government has yet to announce the commission's findings.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: lstmohican from: USA
April 08, 2014 10:09 AM
There are several reasons the aid workers should not be allowed in Myanmar.

Myanmar, unlike the neighboring Bangladesh, has food surplus and can feed its own people and a few countries around it. The MSF had only three overseas doctors can be supplemented by the local doctors.

The aid workers were breaking the immigration laws of Myanmar by illegally entering as tourists. They willingly would not follow the custom and norms of the host country. Though the Buddhist people of Myanmar are very forgiving, the final straw came when an aid worker desecrated a Buddhist flag.

It is an undeniable fact that the international organizations are aiding and abetting known Islamic terrorists with links to Al Qaeda and Taliban. Read more by searching “scribd.com Islamic Rohingya Terrorists Al Qaeda Taliban in Myanmar”. These terrorists have conspired to annex part of to establish an independent country called “Newrosia” that would be ruled by Sharia law.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid