ARNO- The Background
The international community is well aware that we, the 3.5
million peace-loving Muslims of Arakan known as "Rohingya"
have long been subjected to large-scale persecution, genocide,
ethnic-cleansing, diabolical tyranny and extermination
particularly by the successive Burmese autocratic regimes, the worst
being the present State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)
military regime. They are also made largest target of other
widespread human rights violations, including rape, summary
execution, torture, slave labour, restriction on movement, forcible dispossession
and seizure of their citizenship, compelling them to become
stateless or refugees. as a result about 1.5 million of Rohingyas
have been expelled or have to leave their ancestral homeland for
In the face of the rapidly deteriorating situation of the
Rohingyas threatening their very existence and daunting challenges
thrown upon them by the military junta, all rohingya organisations
have strongly felt that the total unity of the Rohingya people is
indispensable. Thus the three Rohingya Organisations--Arakan
Rohingya Islamic Front (ARIF) led by Nurul Islam, Rohingya
Solidarity Organisaton (RSO) led by Dr. Yunus and Rohingya
Solidarity ORGANISATION RSO) led by Professor Mohammad Zakaria---
having common outlook toward all national, political and ideological
matters, have united together and merged into a single organisation
namely ARAKAN ROHINGYA NATIONAL ORGANISATION (ARNO) to serve the
cause of their people.
Having established this broad-based
organization with the unanimous and unflinching support of the
entire Rohingya people to translate their hopes and aspirations so
as to shape and charter their own destiny in accordance with their
free will. 1
ARNO- The Objectives
The 2nd Rohingya National Council (RNC), the congress of the
Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO), was held between 5-7
October 2000. It was attended by party delegates and representatives
from home and abroad, including Ulema, elite and commanders of the
Rohingya National Army (RNA).
The participants deliberated and discussed about the Rohingya
freedom struggle covering all issues-- political, military,
economic, socio-cultural, education and other matters of national
importance. The issue of Rohingyas, who have been living in alien
lands and in refugee camps in Bangladesh, was one of the important
agenda items dominated in the discussions of RNC. The Rohingya
National Council (RNC) formed a Central Executive Committee (CEC)
with Mr. Nurul Islam as its President.
The RNC had welcomed the agreement of political alliance signed
between Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO) and National
United Party of Arakan (NUPA). The RNC had noted with
appreciation that the agreement of alliance is the reflection for
the Muslim-Buddhist unity, based on the reality of Arakan, to launch
a joint national liberation struggle for self-determination and
independence and thus translating the hopes and aspiration of the
whole people of Arakan.
All the participants expressed that their future looks bleak and
the problem of the people of Arakan, particularly that of Rohingya,
can not be solved under colonial rule of the Burman imperialist. And
they were unanimous to opt for the independence of Arakan.
The RNC hereby declares the policies and programme of the ARNO:-
- That the national liberation struggle of the Arakan Rohingya
National Organisation (ARNO) is but a continuation of the
Rohingya people's long and heroic resistance movement and is to
be continued till the inalienable right if the people of Arakan
to 'self-determination and independence" is achieved.
- That we are committed to the preservation and growth of
Islamic culture among the Muslim community in Arakan without
prejudice to the preservation and growth of other
religious and indigenous culture in Arakan
- That about 1.5 million rohingya, who have been expelled from
the country, are taking shelter in many countries of the world
while hoping to return to their ancestral homeland of Arakan.
The Rohingya masses, whether in the homeland or in the place of
Refuge, comprise one national front. They are an internal part
of Ummah as well as part the third world and of the oppressed
colonised humanity everywhere in the world.
- That we will organize, inspire and activate the entire people
of Arakan and undertake necessary programmes to train and
motivate them for improving their basic human qualities and
consciousness. In this connection, we urge upon all the
strengthen national unity for the steady victory of our national
liberation struggle for self-determination and independence.
- That we will undertake all programmes that may be needed from
time to time fro the uplift of the people of Arakan in
socio-cultural, economic, educational and technical fields.
- That the military regime is trying to obliterate and erase
Muslim entity in Arakan by distorting historical facts,
destroying archeological remains, mosques, madreasssah, shrines
and graveyards in order to wipe out the Islamic cultural
heritage. The regime is engaged in statistical genocide in an
effort to make our people look insignificant as part of an evil
design to deny us of our rights and prepare the minds of the
peoples of the world for the appalling consequences of genocide.
We shall leave no stone unturned to preserve the true history of
Arakan and cultural heritage and their actual statistical
- That we will establish a welfare society based on equality,
liberty, democracy, human rights and freedom for all people
without distinction as to race, color and religion. Economic
deprivation, exploitation, injustice and discrimination of any
kind will be eradicated.
- That we will revive and strengthen our traditional
friendship and work hand in glove in full cooperation and
understanding in the interest of all people of Arakan, including
that of the highlanders distributed among different trines or
indigenous people -- such as Chin, Mro, Hami, Dainnet, Thet,
etc. --so as to charter the future of the all people of Arakan
and that of their generation to come. Meanwhile, we urge upon
all to be vigilant against the machination of the enemies.
- That we support all the national liberation movements and
democratic forces in Burma and aspire to co-operate and fight
together against the common enemy and to put the dastardly
military autocratic rule to an end.
- That Bangladesh is our neighborly country which practically
shares the experience of tragedy besetting the people of Arakan.
Having deep traditional and historical relationship in the bonds
of Islamic fraternity and contiguity in geographical position,
the people of Bangladesh have had the opportunity to closely
view the historical process that led to the present position of
our people. Besides, the atrocities upon our people have direct
affect on her; particularly a huge number of Rohingyas have been
taking refuge in Bangladesh over the decades to escape persecution
at home. We, however, believe that Bangladesh being a neighborly
country has historical and moral obligation to endeavor for a
permanent and viable solution of the problem in the interest of
peace and regional stability.
- That it is well known that our women and girls have borne that
brunt of oppression by Burma's military regime. The soldiers and
officers of the regime in systematic campaigns have most
horrendously abused them. We salute the female Rohingyas'
courageous efforts to survive, even as refugee, widows and
orphans. For the future, we support the rights of our women and
girls to education, health and economic empowerment, in a new
atmosphere of utmost respect and absolute safety and security.
- That as the dangerous narcotics flowing out of Burma with its
military regime's full involvement poses a terrible hardship to
all peoples of Asia and the world. We oppose this deadly trade.
We will educate our youths of the dangers of drugs (including
AIDS infection) and firmly obstruct any such narcotics
trafficking through our land.
- That we call for a halt to the present grievous ravaging of
the forests of our homeland by greedy Burmese military regime.
For our future generations' heritage we pledge to protect our
environment, including forests, rivers, wetland, coastline
ocean. We shall save our land from unsustainable logging,
killing of endangered species, all forms of pollution, and over
fishing, to preserve a green haven fro our children and the
- That we reject and boycott against all multinational corporate
investment with the Burmese military regime. In the future, any
investment and development must only be done with the wishes and
welfare of our people in mind and with their full informed consent
and oversight. Future development must be sustainable,
appropriate, clean and beneficial to t eh common people.
- That we appeal for all out support of the international
community, the Governments of the world and World Bodies,
including United Nations Organisations (UND)), Organisation of
Islamic Conference (OIC), Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), South Asia
Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC), ASEAN,
Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), other humanitarian and
human rights Organisations.
Dated: 25th October 2000
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