REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA - Ethnic Rohingya has lived in Myanmar for dozens years in Myanmar, but Myanmar's government does not treat them equally. "We do not ask much, we just want to be equal," the President of Arakan Rohingya National Organization, Nurul Islam, said during his visit to Republika on Monday night.
Ethnic Rohingya does not have any freedom. They cannot move freely from one region to another. "If we want to go to other regions, we must apply and get recommendation. Then we should wait for a year or even four," he said.
They also cannot send their children to school. Yet, Buddhist community is quite different in this case, as they share the region of Arakan but live more prosperous than the Muslim community.
Nurul said that the situation make Rohingya live in despair. Most of them were desperate and tried to find shelter in other countries like Bangladesh. Nurul was one of them. He sought for shelter in Bangladesh.
"But, not everyone is success. Some end up in jail. Even many are disappeared," he said.
Myanmar government, he said, seemed like trying to exterminate Muslim in Myanmar. "Government spreads Islamophobia," he said. Nurul explained that Rohingya had tried to appeal to government for several times. They also cry for help from international intervention.
"President said that Rohingya people are not their citizens," he said. Government even said that they had no responsibility for Rohingya. "But we do not agree if the government transfer us to other countries. It is crime against humanity. It is genocide attempt," he said.