Dawn News

Saudi Arabia gives $50 mln aid to Myanmar Muslims

- AFP Photo

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has ordered $50 million in aid be sent to a Muslim minority in Myanmar which a human rights group said has been targeted by the authorities since sectarian riots in June.

A report on the Saudi state news agency said the Rohingya community had been “exposed to many violations of human rights including ethnic cleansing, murder, rape and forced displacement”.

“King Abdullah ... has ordered that assistance of the amount of $50 million be provided to the Rohingya Muslim citizens in Myanmar,” said the report which was carried by Saudi media on Sunday. It did not say who was to blame for the abuses.

However, Human Rights Watch said on Aug 1 that the Rohingyas had suffered mass arrests, killings and rapes at the hands of the Myanmar security forces.

The minority had borne the brunt of a crackdown after days of arson and machete attacks in June by both Buddhists and Rohingyas in Rakhine state, the monitoring group said.

Myanmar, where at least 800,000 Rohingyas are not recognised as one of the country's many ethnic and religious groups, has said it exercised “maximum restraint” in quelling the riots.

Saudi Arabia sees itself as a guardian of global Muslim interests thanks to being the birthplace of Islam and home to some of the religion's holiest sites in Mecca and Medina.

However, Riyadh also regularly draws criticism from campaigners for its lack of democracy.

Last week the Saudi cabinet condemned the violence against Muslims in northwest Myanmar and at a meeting on July 31, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the kingdom's second city of Jeddah urged members to send Rohingya Muslims aid.

The OIC is holding a summit in Mecca on Tuesday.

Comments (20) Closed

Aug 13, 2012 03:23am
good step by king hope money goes to right suffering people not the corrupt burma govt.iqbal
The Observer
Aug 12, 2012 06:31pm
Although any biased action by any state is condemnable, the path taken by Saudi Arabia may not the be the appropriate one. There are several reason behind it. First, whatever happened or is happening in Myanmar is their internal matter. Other states can raise their voice at the appropriate platform if they think the actions taken my Myanmar state are not right. They can connect at the state-to-state level as well to raise their concern however providing money to one group is not going to help. What if some other state starts giving money to the other group? Secondly, how can Saudi Arabia ensure that their aid will not be misused to fuel the violence further instead of helping the intended recipients.
Aug 12, 2012 07:33pm
it is better to be late then never. Rest of the world should join KSA and ask the Burmese govt to help protect the life of the poor people.
mic dug
Aug 12, 2012 06:57pm
If some one knows about what happening in China, India, and how good they are with the minorities is going to laugh on Raoul comments. There is no match with Saudi vs China or India, Japan, and Italy. Raoul advise is also base less as every country has its limited resources and their first responsibilities which obviously for their own citizens.. I hope just writing for Bias, we should seek the factual figure and highlights which is worthwhile. It is highly appreciable what Saudi govt is giving to Myanmar minorities. .How many other countries like India,Italy, Japan, China helping for those effected people even though most of them are neighbors to them.
Raoul Ciao
Aug 12, 2012 12:34pm
the Kingdom/KSA is an authoritarian state that respects no other religion on it's soil. Unlike Italy etc which allow secularism or India or numerically Buddhist nations like China, Japan etc. While the Rohingya issue in Myanmar is hugely condemnable and the UNHRC needs to push Myanmar and we need Aung San Su Kyi to push for helping Rohingyas , we need to understand that a despotic country like KSA suipporting Rohingyas only paiths THEM black as well as the hand that feeds them. Call it Ramazan month charity or the self sponsored belief of being the Mulsim Bebneficiary Kingdom, why donesn't this country allow migration of other Muslims easily and give asylum to large numbers? Why does it prefer to remain race wise an Arab ruled nation not Muslim rules one? Because no one wants to ask these questions from the hand that sends Muslim landfs doles now and then.
Aug 16, 2012 04:30pm
we are proud of you King,
Bran Deditems
Aug 12, 2012 05:17pm
It is time for Saudis to select Prime Minister and make cabinet. The King can stay like British Royals . The minority representatives can work in the cabinet to address grievances.
Aug 12, 2012 10:24pm
The article is not about the type of government in Saudi Arabia but the atrocities being carries out in Myanmar. If they are providing aid to the Rohingyas then it should be applauded and other countries should follow suit and help as well as condemn those carrying out the horrific crimes. How can you say that if a country supports another in a good effort they are tarred with the same brush? People that are being oppressed and are a minority in a country with no political leverage and no recognition cannot be compared to a type of political set up of another country. It's appalling the fact you are demeaning a people being subject to ethnic cleansing and using them to vent your anger at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Gerry D'Cunha
Aug 12, 2012 02:35pm
The root of all causes in the muslim world have now come up openly in supporting the Rohingya muslims in northwest Myanmar.
Aug 12, 2012 01:45pm
Interference in foreign countries, when the human rights is worst in saudi arabia.
Aug 12, 2012 01:34pm
Why don't they take some of the refugees.
Aug 12, 2012 02:16pm
Great... tit-for-tat ?!
Aug 12, 2012 06:10pm
only if you ever lived in Middle East and were aware of an Arab minset, you wouldnt have said that. How unfortunate it is, when someone targets KSA without even knowing that Saudi's have helped non-muslims alot more then a dozen times. But ofcourse when they help Muslims, questions are raised. How unfortunate it is, when UN/USA and european countries couldnt stop the massacare and rape. Yet they the claim to be the peacemaker. I believe without doubt that these organizations/countries are there to help non-muslims ONLY. Believe it or not, doesnt make a difference to me. But when a well educated person, who has access to all the knowledge says something that childish, hurts.
Aug 12, 2012 10:49pm
The issue is not about Saudi Arabia but help for the oppressed Muslims in Burma. Kudos to Saudi Arabia for standing up for Rohingyas! As for the rest of your grievances, you can write to King Abdullah or come and meet with him. It's a great country!
Mian Zain
Aug 12, 2012 11:21pm
unfortunately, I have to agree with you.
Umer Ahmed
Aug 13, 2012 03:08am
It is good to see such steps being taken, but they will not alleviate grievances. Most probably they wouldn't put an end genocide going on as well. Muslim nations need to force Government of Myanmar to intervene or threaten some drastic measure which might include military threats as well.
Aug 13, 2012 03:29am
And who will send aid to Saudi citizens whose basic rights are violated by its Government?
Ale Zaid
Aug 13, 2012 05:03am
Since when did Saudi Arabia became a champion of human rights of Muslims? Have we forgot Saudi Arabia sending its troops to Bahrain to supress the movement of innocent muslims just last year? and now all of sudden they are guardian of global muslim interest and condemning voilence against muslims? Can we not look at syria and lebanon?
Haroona Gul
Aug 13, 2012 06:08am
Saudi Arabia donates and Pakistan sends a letter. What a contrast!!!!!!!
mullah akbar shah
Aug 13, 2012 08:27am
KSA should give them permanent citizenship. its the richest muslim country, we expect them to help their brothers and not just give alms!! basically all saudis are 7aramis!!