World, Asia - Pacific

Arakanese support opponents of coup in Myanmar: NGO

‘We lost our faith in Myanmar’ but still support those against takeover, says head of Selangor Humanitarian Aid Association

Ömer Faruk Yıldız   | 14.04.2021
Arakanese support opponents of coup in Myanmar: NGO Ustaz Rafik, President of Selangor Humanitarian Aid Association established to help Rohingya Muslim refugees holds an interview in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on April 13, 2021. ( Syaiful Redzuan - Anadolu Agency )

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia

Arakanese Muslims support the revolutionary movement of the people of Myanmar against the military coup because they know very well the inhumane practices of the army, the head of a non-governmental organization said Tuesday.

"We have lost our faith in Myanmar, but still we support those against the coup," said Ustaz Rafik, chairperson of the Selangor Humanitarian Aid Association, which was founded to support Muslim Arakanese refugees in Malaysia.

Rafik said the military coup in Myanmar was not a first for them as the Arakanese and other ethnic communities had been under the oppression of the military for over 70 years.

"We have seen yet again that the army of Myanmar does not have any religious values. They say they believe in Buddhism, but what they have made us go through for years does not comply with the tenets of their religion," he said.

"They lack humanitarian values as well because they have killed thousands of civilians in Arakan including women and children, burned them alive, exposed them to torture,” he added.

Rafik said the Arakanese community was subjected to many injustices during de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi's rule.

"But our religion taught us to forgive and side with the right. So we will keep standing with the mistreated," he said.

Underlining that Myanmar's army is the greatest obstacle to achieving peace and tranquility in the county, Rafik noted that as long as the military’s power is not suppressed, the people of Myanmar will continue to suffer.

On Feb. 1, Myanmar’s military deposed Suu Kyi’s elected government. In reaction to the coup, civilian groups across the country launched a civil disobedience campaign as well as marches and sit-in protests.

*Writing by Dilan Pamuk in Ankara

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