Philippines may open doors to Rohingya refugees

2015-05-19 09:51:41 | Al Muslim News
Philippines may open doors to Rohingya refugees
Foreign affairs spokesman Charles Jose pointed to the example of the Philippines accepting Vietnamese refugees at the end of the Vietnam War in the 19

 

The Philippines said it was ready to help Rohingya and Bangladeshi boatpeople, as its Southeast Asian neighbours faced outrage for turning them away.

The Philippines is obliged to help the migrants, many of whom are fleeing persecution, because it is party to the 1951 United Nations convention on refugees, foreign affairs department spokesman Charles Jose said, FMT reported. 

"We have the commitment and the obligation to extend humanitarian assistance to these asylum seekers,” Jose told ANC television.

Jose and other senior government officials would not elaborate on the kind of help the Philippines would give to the Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshis, whose plight has been described as a humanitarian catastrophe.

“We can’t go into much detail yet. We are not yet into that point. What we are saying now is our broad policy statement regarding this issue,” he added.

More than 3,000 migrants have swum to shore or been rescued off Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand over the past week, with thousands more believed to be drifting on boats without food or water.

The three governments have sparked international outrage for driving away the migrant boats, who are believed to have been deserted by human trafficking rings after a Thai crackdown.

Describing a precedent to the current situation, Jose pointed to the example of the Philippines accepting Vietnamese refugees at the end of the Vietnam War in the 1970s.

In that case, the Philippines accepted boatpeople who arrived directly on its shores but also others who had originally landed in other countries.

About 400,000 Vietnamese refugees went through Philippine camps and were eventually relocated to other countries, according to a government website.

President Benigno Aquino’s spokesman also said the Philippines was open to helping the refugees, as he cited the values of mercy and compassion found in the nation’s dominant Catholic religion.
“As the only predominantly Catholic nation in Southeast Asia, it is our duty to provide succor to those in need,” presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma said.

The Rohingya are a Muslim minority group in Buddhist majority Myanmar, where they have no legal rights, making them a target for human traffickers. Up to 1.3 million live in the western Rakhine state.

Malaysia and Thailand have called on Myanmar to stem the flow of the Rohingya but Myanmar has refused to take responsibility, claiming the Muslim minority group is composed of illegal settlers, even Rohingya living in Myanmar from centuries.

 

.

Tags: #Muslim-minorities #Rohingya-Muslims #

Latest News

What to Next

China military ordered to pledge total loyalty to President Xi Jinping

China's military has been ordered to pledge absolute loyalty to President Xi Jinping while a paramilitary police force now literally sings his pra... More

Muslim teaching assistant wins unfair dismissal case over 9/11 footage

A Muslim teaching assistant who was sacked for objecting to 11-year-olds being shown graphic footage of the 9/11 attacks has won an unfair dismissal c... More

Somalia: 23 dead in Mogadishu twin suicide car bomb attack

MOGADISHU, Somalia: At least 23 people, including a former lawmaker and a police official were killed and more than 30 others wounded in two suspected... More

Singapore bans Mufti Menk from entering country

Singapore has banned Mufti Ismail Menk, a renowned Islamic preacher, from entering the city-state, with the government contending that his views promo... More

Turkey and Qatar: Behind the strategic alliance

The third meeting of Turkey-Qatar Supreme Strategic Committee at the ministerial level kicked off in Istanbul on Monday, October 23. Al Jazeera examin... More

Israel delays vote on bill to Judaise Jerusalem

Israel has delayed a vote on a controversial bill that would annex illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank to the Israeli-defined boundaries of ... More

Spanish PM dissolves Catalan parliament

Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy says he is dissolving the Catalan parliament and calling regional elections over its push for independence. The prime minist... More

presidential election in Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya - At least three people have been killed in violence gripping Kenya's contentious presidential election rerun, which has been boyco... More

Gazans demand release of loved ones jailed by Israel

Young Palestinian Jerusalemites detained by Israeli police are made vulnerable by late-night arrests, lengthy interrogations and a lack of access to t... More

Two women killed by Indian fire in LOC : Kashmir

Pakistan on Tuesday accused India of killing at least two women and injuring six other people in unprovoked firing along the Line of Control (LoC) &md... More

26