|Posted by Mohammed Rafique on June 3, 2011 at 11:15 AM|
Jeddah, KSA: The headquarters of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Jeddah hosted a convention of senior Rohingya leaders in order to form the Arakan Rohingya Union (ARU) to bring peace, prosperity, and hope for the future to the Rohingya people, according to OIC’s website and the International Islamic News Agency (IINA).
Participants at Rohingya convention in OIC headquarters, Jeddah
“The Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, called for unity among Rohingya and all Muslims. The call highlighted the importance of the Meeting of Senior Leaders of Arakan Rohingya Union (ARU) and the Euro-Burma Office (EBO), which takes place in the OIC headquarters on 30 and 31 May 2011,” according to Talal Daaous, the Director of the Department of Muslim Minorities in OIC.
The call stems from a resolution adopted by the Thirty Seventh Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers held in Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan, in May 2011. “[The Council] commends the efforts of the Secretary General aimed at coordinating the work of the Rohingya Muslim organizations and uniting their ranks under a united coordination council, and calls on him to continue these efforts to reclaim their rights.”
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the Senior Rohingya Leaders on June 8-9, 2010, under the patronage of H.E. the Secretary General of OIC Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, an expanded Convention was jointly convened by OIC and EBO with the participation of Eminent Rohingya Leaders on 30-31 May, 2011. The ARU appeals to the OIC Secretary General to recognize the ARU as an independent organization representing the Rohingya people.
Mr. Talal Daous, the Director of the Muslim Minorities and Communities Department, represented the OIC Secretary General Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and Mr. Harn Yawnghwe represented the Euro-Burma Office during the convention, which was held at the Headquarters of the OIC General Secretariat.
The convention issued a joint statement which announced the formation of the Arakan Rohingya Union (ARU) to seek a political solution to the problems faced by the Rohingya people. The newly formed union, which is currently composed of twenty-five organizations, was formed on the agreed principles of an indivisible Arakan State, peaceful co-existence, democracy, human rights, and federalism. The ARU Congress will seek to include representatives of all Rohingya organizations.
Dr. Wakar Uddin, Dr. Mohamed Younus with Mr. Harn Yawnghwe at the Rohingya convention
The convention also agreed upon the establishment of an ARU Council comprising of ten members from different countries to oversee the affairs of the ARU. The Arakan Rohingya Union (ARU), which will endeavor to register itself as a non-profit organization in the USA, formed a Secretariat to be run by Dr. Wakar Uddin who was elected as Director General of the Secretariat for an initial period of 18 months. Subsequent elections will take place at each annual Congress.
The convention confirmed the 10 members of the council are: Mr. Abul Faiz Jilani, Bangladesh; Mr. Imum Ahmad, KSA; Mr. Ko Ko Lin (Mohammed Kalim), Bangladesh; Dr. Mohammed Yunus, Bangladesh; Mr. Nurul Islam, UK; Ustaz Salim Ullah, KSA; Mr. Reza Uddin, USA; Mr. Sayed Hussein, Norway; Mr. Zaw Min Htut, Japan, and Dr. Muhammed Eyup Han, Turkey.
The convention agreed to establish the following coordinators also for an initial period of 1 ½ years: Maung Tun Khin, UK, for International Affairs; Dr. Mohammed Ali, UAE, for fundraising; Nezam (Ronnie), KSA, for Domestic, Cultural & Education; Abdul Hamid, Malaysia, for Refugee Affairs, and Nurul Islam, Bangladesh, for Media and Information.
The convention agreed to establish a charter which will be drafted by the Director General, the four founding members, Mr. Zaw Min Htut, and Mr. Maung Tun Khin. The congress will ratify the charter at its first meeting.
The convention agreed upon the establishment of an Advisory Board. The four founding members and Dr. Wakar Uddin will decide on the membership of the Advisory Board, which must be ratified by the Congress.
The participants expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the efforts of the Secretary General of the OIC, H.E. Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the department of the Muslim Minorities and Communities, and Mr. Harn Yawnghwe for convening this historic convention of Rohingya leaders in order to bring peace, prosperity, and hope to the Rohingya people.