Vasudhavia Kutumbakam is a philosophy that inculcates the understanding that whole world is one family. If the Pramatma is one how then the Atma can be different?
In wake of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in which the Rohingya Muslims have been targetted, the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said that Lord Buddha “would have definitely helped” the Rohingyas” and he felt “very sad” about the violence.
“Those people..you see..sort of harassing some Muslims. Then they should remember, Buddha, in such circumstances, would have definitely helped those poor Muslims,” Dalai Lama told reporters.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights confuted the India’s stand that advocates that because India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention it “can dispense with international law on the matter, together with basic human compassion.”
According to UN human rights chief, “by virtue of customary law, its ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the obligations of due process and the universal principle of non-refoulement, India cannot carry out collective expulsions, or return people to a place where they risk torture or other serious violations,” the UN human rights chief said.
According to Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “[e]veryone has the right to a nationality,” and “[n]o one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality.” While issues of nationality are primarily within each state’s jurisdiction, a state’s laws must be in accord with general principles of international law.
Nationality, according to the International Court of Justice, is “a legal bond having as its basis a social fact of attachment, a genuine connection of existence, interests and sentiments.”
States are required by international standards described below to avoid acts that would render stateless anyone who has a genuine and effective link to that state:
The right to nationality without arbitrary deprivation is now recognized as a basic human right under international law, which, through legal instruments and the practice of many states, imposes the general duty on states not to create statelessness.
The primary international legal instruments addressing the issue of statelessness are the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
These conventions provide for the acquisition or retention of nationality by those who would otherwise be stateless and who have an effective link with the state through factors of birth, descent, or residency.
Citizenship, or nationality, is a fundamental human right that facilitates the ability to exercise other human rights. The Rohingya’s lack of citizenship lies at the heart of this crisis.
Human Rights Watch believes that all Rohingya born in Burma and their children have a right to Burmese citizenship. By denying them citizenship, Burma is violating international law. It is also forcing its neighbours to bear the burden of its actions. The international community should continue to put pressure on Burma to provide full citizenship and accompanying rights to its Rohingya population. Until Burma does so, the Rohingya who flee human rights abuses and ill-treatment in Burma should be provided with asylum and international refugee protection. In particular, Rohingya should not be detained or deprived freedom of movement in countries of asylum. They should receive temporary identification papers and their children should be registered at birth.
What happened in Burma now Myanmar:
The 1954 convention defines a “stateless person” as someone “who is not considered a national by any State under the operation of its law.”Under Article 1 of the 1961 convention, a state “shall grant its nationality to a person born in its territory who would otherwise be stateless.” Article 8 prohibits the deprivation of nationality if it results in statelessness, and Article 9 prohibits the discriminatory deprivation of nationality. Burma violates both of these articles.
Nearly all Rohingyas or their parents were born in Burma, have resided there, and have family there, all factors that establish a genuine and effective link to Burma. Burma, however, continues to treat the Rohingya as foreign residents and refuses to accept them back from Malaysia. It does this on the basis of the Rohingya’s ethnic origin. Discriminatory denial of citizenship renders the Rohingya potentially stateless, as no other country recognizes them as its nationals. This violates Articles 8 and 9 of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Burma, thus, bears clear responsibility for the Rohingya’s plight.
Burma has created an intractable situation for Rohingyas. Denied citizenship on the basis of their ethnicity, nearly all Rohingya in Burma have severely restricted rights to education, employment, and movement in Burma. Many are also subject to quasi-institutionalized forced labor practices.
Under its statute, UNHCR is charged with “providing international protection” and with “seeking permanent solutions for the problem of refugees.” A refugee, as defined by the 1951 Refugee Convention, is:
“….any person who . . . owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.
The Rohingya are subjected to arbitrary confiscation of their property and other economic restrictions precisely because of their membership of a specific ethnic and religious group.
The Rohingya’s inability to acquire citizenship status is thus integral to the discrimination and human rights abuses they suffer in Burma. Where an entire group is arbitrarily denied or deprived of citizenship on the basis of nationality or ethnicity, there is a strong argument to be made that this constitutes discrimination rising to the level of persecution. In addition, because important legally enforceable rights are associated with citizenship, arbitrary denial or deprivation of citizenship deprives individuals of legal remedies for a variety of restrictions.
To conclude the argument, every religion has a sunny side and a shady side where the violence lurks in the background. Those who claim that all followers of Buddha are peaceful people forget the violent history of Japan pre -1945, second war, the macabre dance of death of Pol-Pot regime in the fag end of the last century and now read the following:
In Thailand several prominent virulent Buddhist monastic had called for violence. In the 1970s, nationalist Buddhist monks like Phra Kittiwuttho argued that killing Communists did not violate any of the Buddhist precepts.