The members of European Rohingya Council (ERC) participated in a debate of Rohingya on 3rd December 2015 in Clermont-Ferrand city of France.
The event has started at 16:30 with a short conference in Librairie Les Volcans with NGOs and after that the main event started with a documentary with the title “La Malédiction des Rohingyas” at 20:00 Salle Conchon Clermont Ferrand.
The event was organized by CODE which is an acronym for “Collective Organisations pour les Droits de l’Enfant”. The debate was on the the topic of “What is the fate of Rohingya?”, where many distinguished member of French parliament – Mr. André Chassaigne (Député PCF) and Mrs. Cécile Cukierman (Senator PCF), local politicians – Mrs. Catherine Briat (Deputy Mayor of Clermont-Ferrand and Departmental Councilor) and Mr. Didier Rostaing (Municipal Councilor Clermont-Ferrand), and members of CODE – Mr. Roland Lebeau (President of CODE 63), Mr. Jean-Claude Montagne (PEP 63), Mr. Maurice Daubannay, Mr. Jacques Bouffier, Mr. Daniel Jolys (LDH 63), Mr. Grégoire Cochetel (Director of the ESPE) and Dr. Odile Cochetel, all participated.
Two members of the European Rohingya Council (ERC), Mr. Haroon Yousuf and Mr.Tahir Hussain participated in the event on behalf of ERC. They presented to the audience and the distinguished guest with the historical presence of Rohingya in Myanmar, the presence of Rohingya in the country’s parliament throughout the history and the participation of Rohingya in every general election.
Mr. Yousuf highlighted the State-sponsored discrimination and persecution of Rohingya by the military dictators and local Rakhine Buddhist extremists. He further explained about the inflammatory book, “Influx Virus” written by xenophobic Dr. Aye Chan (a former Rakhine lecturer at Kanda University of Japan) in which Rohingya are described as “Virus”, and the publication of the book resulted in wide-spread poisonous and hateful propaganda and racial discrimination against Rohingya. He continued discussions on the two child policy, the 1982 Citizenship Law and the ongoing genocide since June 2012.
Mr. Tahir Hussain said that we are not demanding royal suite from our government. We are just demanding our civil rights such as identity, education, freedom of movement, health care and justice which we have deprived since 1962. I would like to say to every French people that they are very lucky because they have land to live and enjoying their all rights and I know the value of this because I am a stateless. May God never give statelessness to any human being in the world.
Furthermore, Mr. Yousuf have raised the voice regarding the arrest of five individual in Yangon for the publication of ‘a Rohingya Calender’ which quotes the existential evidences and remarks of Rohingya mentioned by famous Burmese politicians from General Aung San, Prime Minister U Nu, Prime Minister U Ba Swe to Defence Minister, U Aung Gyi.
During the question and answer session, Mr. Yousuf anticipates “ to get back the lost civil rights in the future.” He also hopes the new administration will bring the just and dignified treatments towards Rohingya community regardless of who controls the administration.
Mr. Yousuf concluded his discussion by saying that “Rohingya is completely excluded from the 2015 General Election which was totally unfair, and a true democracy would have never excluded the participation of minorities.” European Union should emphasize raising voice to revoke the 1982 citizenship law, pressurize in order to provide all the human rights to Rohingya and pave way for Rohingya to participate in the development of the country.