The National Peace Council (NPC) of Sri Lanka has appealed to the Sri Lankan government to lift the ban on the entry of Rohingya refugees, taking into account the “intensity of atrocities against men, women and children at unprecedented scale in their native Myanmar.”
“We regret that they have been sent away without being considered as refugees,” reports bdnews24.com quoting a NPC statement on Sunday.
“The plight of entire communities of people who have lost their loved ones, homes and properties due to the conflict in Myanmar has a special resonance to us in Sri Lanka. Due to the ethnic conflict, terrorism and war that last over three decades, we lost over a million of our people who left the country to seek asylum in other parts of the world.”
“The National Peace Council therefore urges the government to reconsider its decision to screen out Rohingyas to prevent them from entering Sri Lanka.”
“ We believe that just as other countries accepted asylum seekers from our country we need to reciprocate on the basis of humanitarian ideals which we have accepted as a country.”
As a member country of the United Nations, Sri Lanka is a signatory to the UN Convention of 1951 pertaining to the status of refugees and has an obligation to take on global responsibilities, the NPC pointed out.
The NPC then endorsed the following demands of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauff Hakeem:
- Urge an immediate end to violence against the Rohingya people.
- Offer relief and rehabilitation assistance to the affected people through international agencies.
- Issue a public statement demonstrating its clear interest in addressing the situation faced by the Rohingya people.
- Call for a debate or session in Parliament to explain the position of the Government of Sri Lanka urging for nonviolence and peace-building in Myanmar.