Call for action to help persecuted Rohingya people

The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office is calling for action to help the tragic situation for persecuted Rohingya people fleeing Myanmar.

The Rohingya people are fleeing Myanmar to escape government persecution and the denial of their citizenship. Many are stranded at sea in unstable boats off the coast of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia with limited food and water supplies.

In a June 4 statement, the Director of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO), Fr Maurizio Pettenà said:

‘The Rohingya people seeking asylum in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia are being denied entry because they are considered stateless and their claim for asylum is being rejected everywhere.’

‘This is an emergency situation that requires an immediate solution to find a safe haven for the vulnerable Rohingya people and a long-term strategy. We need to show compassion and solidarity with the Rohingya people at this time.’

The ACMRO is calling on the Australian Government to take on a leadership role in this situation and act as a diplomatic mediator in developing a humane long-term solution.

ACMRO chairman Bishop Vincent Long, a refugee himself, is calling on the Catholic community across Australia to pray for the Rohingya people fleeing persecution in their homeland. ‘This minority group don’t know what the future holds.’

Meanwhile, the ACMRO welcomed the news that the Indonesian and Malaysian governments have come to a temporary agreement to assist some of the Rohingya people.

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