Many Rohingya people in exile including myself have struggle for democratization and the release of Political Prisoners in Burma. All of us hope that a day there will be Peace and Freedom. That day has come likely and Hope has come back for all. But soon, ethnic cleansing against defenceless unarmed Rohingya is recurred in Arakan and there is a huge misinformation on the situation.. It is very horror and well organized from the beginning that Curfew and Order are imposed on only Rohingya while Rakhine people are freely allowed to carry out various attacks, looting goods and cash even harden woods and pillars and torching fire at last after security forces opening fires into Rohingya houses and Rohingyans. In this manner, many of our family members and relatives were killed including my cousins and my mum and sister are still missing.. Because of we are dark, or muslim or just Rohingya. I don't know exactly. Despite politics, nationalities are not as important as the emergency. Nowadays in many local journal and online news, Rakhine- politicians, monks, historians and teachers are openly declaring that they could not share their lands, waters, foods and any resource for Rohingya, not anymore. Now, authority are replacing Rakhine people in Rohingya lands which were burnt down. High ranking authorities said that they don't want to see any Kala in the town and Rohingya or Bengali or Kala could not be owner of anything in Burma.
Now, day by day Rohingyas are dying and disappearing by hundred from continuous arbitrary arrest, brutal abuses, starvation and lack of medication. Their cattle and goats, farming lands and crops were already taken away by Rakhines while all Rohingya in Arakan are confined within their houses. They can't escape, they are trapped between the bullets of the authority and the knives of Rakhines. Rakhines are still chanting all over the town to cleans the remaining Rohingyans. Pl do anything to stop all the abuses and crimes made on the remaining Rohingyas people before we go all extinguished. 100,000 Rohingyas are homeless today while there is raining season in Burma. Burmese authority do not provide any aid nor assistance for homeless Rohingyans. Soon our ethnicity will be disappeared and similar form will be utilized for other minorities. Only your voice can change something for us. We need your voice just to at least save our people. Save the remaining Rohingyas on an humanitarian ground. Let them have food and water and medication and shelter.
Please find a way to save our remaining relatives, our Rohingya people on Your Highness. We need international communities' assistance, the authority will only be felt pressure by international communities. It is the moment given the racism in Arakan, so international help is the only situation for Rohingyas. Please help us. Thankfully, (author:Rohingya man in exile)
Letter to a Senator
Serco management in Darwin have recently implemented a policy of preventing members of the Darwin community from speaking to asylum seekers when those asylum seekers are in Darwin court rooms. I have a friend who has been involved in a court case for a number of weeks and he has been told and people who have attempted to speak to him have been told that in order to speak to him they must make a written request to Serco. This has occurred on at least 4 occasions. Visitor requests need to be provided to Serco in writing 24 hours in advance. Today I witnessed a Serco guard tell a lady to stop speaking to my friend when she was attempting to console him after being told his mother and sister were missing in Burma. They were standing outside a court room waiting for the proceedings to commence.
I have complained to DIAC and Serco before about this practice and did not receive a response. For a person from overseas who is going through the court process to be told that they cannot have friends near them when going through something this stressful is a disgrace and illustrates the complete lack of compassion and common sense that Serco management in Darwin have.
I highly doubt that Serco has any legislative authority to prevent an asylum seeker speaking to a friend outside of detention. When I last raised this with DIAC (see below), the next day Serco guards made a specific point of telling my friend that he was not to speak to any members of the community who had not been "authorised".
I do not blame the individual Serco guards who have been told to implement this policy but rather Serco management at the Darwin Airport Lodge who have instructed them to do this. This is the same management that have previously banned children from having crayons in detention and when members of the Darwin community gather outside to show support to asylum seekers responded by videotaping them. It is the same management that have presided over children attempting suicide and self harming in their rooms at the DAL.
Given all that my friend is currently going through I expect a number of people will approach him tomorrow to comfort him. I have copied in Serco and DIAC management to this email so that they may think about whether it is really necessary to police who he can and cannot speak to when he is outside of detention.
I invite you to discuss this with the Minister's office or with DIAC officials in other forums if you have the opportunity. You may like to ask what authority Serco have to do this and for what reason they are doing it.
The Member for Solomon, Natasha Griggs has criticised the practice of asylum seekers living in the community with members of the public. Ms Griggs has also blamed asylum seekers for the Territory's health problems and high rents. This is one Darwin resident's response:
Dear Ms Griggs,
As a voter in your electorate I was extremely disappointed to read your negative comment in your Gazette about Darwin residents being asked to house asylum-seekers in their homes.
For the past 3 months I have enjoyed having 2 young Kurdish men from Iran as my house guests. They are courteous, helpful in doing all they can to help in the house and yard, scrupulously clean, completely honest and trustworthy, and generally a pleasure to have around. I enjoy the Kurdish music they download and their sense of humour, and greatly admire their efforts to find work and to learn English. Both have now found paid employment.
I am not part of the homestay scheme and take no money for the arrangement.
When I was away they house-sat for me, and I came back to find everything in perfect order and my pets happy and well-cared for.
A distressing aspect is hear - gradually, as it comes out - their past history of persecution as stateless people in Iran and torture by police under Sharia law. As stateless Kurds they were never allowed any documentation, not even driving licences, which is why they arrive in Australia paperless. Not because they have thrown identity papers overboard.
Even more distressing for me as a retired psychologist is to observe the effect of long-term detention on them. Difficulty in concentration, recurring nightmares, stress-induced high blood pressure, constant headaches and a battle with depression.
Long-term detention is the very worst preparation for their new life in Australia. Genuine refugees, which the great majority are found to be, come seeking freedom and justice and the right to work, not imprisonment and/or living on welfare. By causing them even further trauma by long-term detention, we are creating a quite unecessary need for expensive long-term mental health services on their release.
I strongly urge you to find out the truth for yourself from these people now
living in your electorate.