REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, KUALA LUMPUR – The head of Indonesian Red Cross, Muhammad Jusuf Kalla, will visit Myanmar to urge the government there to let Rohingya Muslims have access to humanitarian aid. "I will fly to Myanmar and I think the government now is not as rigid as in the past," the former Indonesian vice presiden (2004-2009) said on Friday.
On humanitarian grounds, Kalla added, the United Nation, ASEAN and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) should be allowed to provide relief aid to Rohingya Muslims. "The humanitarian aspect must be considered," he stated.
Neutral parties are needed to solve the problem of Rohingya Muslims. We need something similar to what the Indonesian government did when there was turmoil in Ambon, Kalla explained. At that time, he cited an example, the Indonesian government did not allow religious organizations from foreign countries to play a role in resolving the conflict in Ambon, because that could potentially aggravate the situation.
However, Kalla said, political pressure from other countries was also important to end the conflict in Myanmar. He added that the conflict led to much violence against Rohingya Muslims, and their human rights were violated.
"Remember, human rights are the most important thing in the world,” he pointed out.
He said Myanmar and Bangladesh must let Rohingya Muslims have access to relief aid from foreign organisations. "There should be cooperation in distribution of aids for Rohingya people," Kalla added.
He stated that Qatar had allocated 200 million IDR for Rohingya Muslims and the aid must reach them. "The Rohingnya issue is a political problem, which is similar to the racial conflict in Indonesia, involving Chinese-origin people, during the late 1950s," Kalla noted.