For hundreds of thousands of Rohingya muslims, persecution is a daily occurrence. While escaping from their country, Myanmar, their future in neighbouring Bangladesh is uncertain as no one knows what will happen to them. Two Maltese MPs, Alex Muscat and Ryan Callus, visited the Cox’s Bazar camp for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh together with a British delegation.
The visit to the refugee camp will be a lifelong experience for both Maltese deputies.
Government MP Muscat said, “when you watch what is happening on television and when you effectively go there and experience the situation is something different. The United Nations is distributing basic necessities for an immediate camp. People have been living in the camp for 25 years”.
Opposition MP Callus said “I really feel sad about human cruelty. The great experience I met with is that I have great responsibility to deliver what I saw and reveal the situation. When I was there I asked a mother with a baby to recount the violence. She said she saw soldiers throw babies in fire”.
There are half a million Rohingya refugees living in the camp after they fled Myanmar where they experienced every sort of mistreatment and discrimination.
Alex Muscat said “these are practically stateless persons. They fled their country for a simple reason because they are persecuted in their country. Imagine that your country does not recognize you as a citizen of that country”. Ryan Callus added that “despite the fact that children are experiencing a difficult life, you can see the children playing with great innocence, that when they grow up they will know the reality they lived in and that they are a population without citizenship”.
The two MP will now join together in delivering their message in the Maltese Parliament.
“I admit I didn’t know much on what was happening; we will speak on these tragic events and appeal to Parliament as deputies of both sides of the House for action to be taken”, Mr Callus said. On his part, Mr Muscat said “we wanted to understand what is happening so that we also raise awareness on a local level to be politically united and deliver the message on an international level”.
The two deputies visited Bangladesh as a Maltese parliamentary delegation led the Commonwealth Conference speaker.