FRIDAY, 10 FEBRUARY 2012
Maung Tun Khin (aka) Ziaul Gaffar, the president of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, visited with Norwegian officials in Oslo recently, where he met with the former prime minister.
Maung Tun Khin met the former prime minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik, who is the director of the Oslo Centre for Peace and Human Rights.
“I had an extremely valuable discussion with the former prime minister. I express our gratitude for his long-time efforts for human rights and democracy for Burma. I urged him to continue to put pressure on the Thein Sein regime to stop human rights violations in ethnic areas, particularly in Arakan State where Rohingyas are facing serious persecution,” he said in a statement.
The Norwegian government is now engaging with the Thein Sein government and recently cancelled its earlier calls for Norwegian companies not to do business or invest in Burma.
In meetings with officials, Maung Tun Khin said, “We called on them to urge the regime to restore Rohingya citizenship rights, ethnic rights, to lift restrictions on marriage, movement, education, and to find a permanent solution for Rohingya refugees who are living in Bangladesh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Malaysia.”
He said he also met with various officials, parliamentary members and NGO groups, where he raised awareness about the suffering of the people of Burma, and particularly the plight of the Rohingyas.
“I delivered the message that if the Thein Sein regime wants to do genuine reform they have to stop human rights violations against ethnic areas. The regime is not showing even little signs of change on the Rohingya, instead tagging Rohingyas as foreigners. Recent changes might be just to ease sanctions from Western governments.” He said it was too early to lift the sanctions on Burma.