Saudi Arabia gives $50 mn aid to Myanmar Muslims

Published: August 12, 2012

Rohingyas had suffered mass arrests, killings and rapes at the hands of the Myanmar security forces: HRW PHOTO: AFP/FILE

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has ordered $50 million in aid be sent to the Rohingya community 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 Muslim 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 August 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.

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Reader Comments (63)

  • Zalim Singh
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:18PM

    very generous.

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  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:21PM

    Let see how many people from Pakistan will walk the talk and match the donation for helping Myanmar Muslims. Talk is cheap.

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  • nomi
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:29PM

    lol

    May be they forgot about their treatment of Shias.

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  • hassan akbar
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:35PM

    Saudi will go bankrupt if they have to pay for all the human rights violations against the maids and low skilled workers in its own country.

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  • Kanwal
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:42PM

    Oh dear! these sheikhs have been very “helpful” to Pakistani muslims and see where we have come. Save your skin and run Myanmar muslims!

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  • Mr Sunny Loni
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:54PM

    That is the monthly budget on royal camel feed

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  • Prabhat Pal
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:57PM

    $50 mn is not much for the Saudis but Rohingyas will appreciate it.
    .

    “King Abdullah has ordered that
    assistance of the amount of $50
    million be provided to the Rohingya
    Muslim citizens in Myanmar,”

    .
    Now come to think of it, Saudis don’t give citizenship to non ethnic Arabs, but they expect Myanmar to give citizenship to non-ethnic Burmese? hmm…

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  • khan
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:01PM

    if anyone wanna see extream cynicism come read comments on ET. No wonder you hardly find a happy face in the crowd.

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  • Abu
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:03PM

    Why rich arab countries like Saudi Arabia,UAE etc. didn’t ready to offer asylum to this poor muslims.Pakistan is the true leader of muslim world because providing shelter to 3 million Afgans even if itself suffering huge financial crisis.

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  • Donku
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:04PM

    @Prabhat Pal

    is this aid for Myanmar Govt to grant citizenship to the victims?

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  • malik
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:06PM

    A layman’s question:

    What did the Rohingya’s do that they are so reviled by everyone ? Even Bangladesh do not want them. In fact, Bangladesh has told the foreign charities to stop giving aid to the Rohingyas.

    Surely, Rohingya’s must have done something – during their decades of living in Burma – to earn all that ill-will and opprobrium. What is that they have done ?

    PS: 1.) Let’s not forget that the riots started only after two Rohingyas muslims, robbed, raped and murdered an ethnic Rakhine woman, Ma Thida Htwe. Logic: If they had not raped the poor woman, the backlash would not have happened.

    2.) Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Laurette, has refused to support the cause of Rohingyas.

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  • Dr Meekal Ahmed
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:07PM

    They always think that moeny can solve all problems.

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  • Enlightened
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:11PM

    Pakistan would have been a better place to live, if Saudi Arabia had not funded various militant organisations in this country for the past three decades.

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  • Aug 12, 2012 - 7:15PM

    @Prabhat Pal:
    com’on stop this typical hatred, Saudi’s and turks came to help when so called human rights and NGO’s closed their eyes

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  • Pk_guy
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:29PM

    What is wrong with you people? Instead of appreciating Saudi’s aid, you’re criticizing just for the sake of arguments? The burmeese genocide is the biggest one of this decade i guess, and no intervention on the global scale? I mean why???? Lets suppose there were some elements among Rohingyas who were the reason, but punish the kids, the girls, the old, the weak? Let’s not talk on the religious grounds, fine… but still they are human beings.. they cut them like the fish.. Pakistan too has problem dealing with the minorities but not of that magnitude. not even saudi arabia.. so if someone steps forward why u people crying? I dont understand this madness of yours.

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  • nomi
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:30PM

    @ malik

    This might be the reason of violence;however, nothing should justify violence. People are people. Humanity must prevail over everything.

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  • Aug 12, 2012 - 7:41PM

    The way comments are going. It seems that sectarianist and social-class fascists of Pakistan who disguise themselves as liberals also have problems with Burmese Muslims.

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  • Ravi
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:52PM

    The King should have allocated the $50 million aid to Rohingyas to be specifically used for transporting them safely to Saudi Arabia where they can live in peace among their brothern.

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  • wahab
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:54PM

    Good step! but the crisis is political and not religious.. solution lies inside burma

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  • Bobby
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:54PM

    Why send aid? Why not bring them home?

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  • Arya
    Aug 12, 2012 - 8:10PM

    Saudi money is an ominous sign. We may shortly have a Palestine in Burma. Myanmar govt can not accept this aid since they do not recognize the Rohingyas. So, the money will finally go to some middlemen, Mullahs and few radical groups among Rohingyas. Far from solving the problem, it will create a new problem. Who told the Saudis that the issue is economical? They do not have negotiation skill, but only know how to bribe and get the things done.

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  • midhat
    Aug 12, 2012 - 8:16PM

    @malik:
    how pathetic. Now you are trying to justify the utterly inhumane treatment of a whole community based on one accident. such hateful thinking that is!
    FIY.. this is not just related to this inncident only. They have been termed as the most oppressed minority in the world by independent international sources. Do some research fist.. And if you cant condemn such acts please refrain from commenting as it shows how insensitive people can be..

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  • midhat
    Aug 12, 2012 - 8:21PM

    @nomi: o please..its about roghinya muslims right now.. its sad what happens with shias or whats happening with sunni in blown up mosques but cannot you undermine roghinya muslims inhuman illtreament that has been going on for decades..

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  • Raj - USA
    Aug 12, 2012 - 8:28PM

    Saudi Arabia has offered $50 million aid but their official report does not say who is to be blamed for the violence. This says it all.

    China had earlier warned Pakistan on the Burma issue by imposing restrictions on Ramzan fasting. They have also worked behind the scene or may even have warned Saudi Arabia. With this aid and not blaming anyone, Saudis keep their good name with Muslims and also obey China. Burma, China and Japan have sizable Buddhist population. With US oil and gas production increasing and US reducing its oil imports, no oil exporting country can afford to alienate China, Japan and India. Burma has strong Chinese support. Even Bangladesh has no sympathy for the muslims in Burma. This gesture by KSA will make the Burma issue forgotten in no time. The substantial Buddhist population in China, Japan and Burma have not forgotten Bamyan Buddha and they do not blame the Talibans for the destruction. They blame the forces behind the Talibans that incited and influenced the Talibans.

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  • Logic Europe
    Aug 12, 2012 - 8:35PM

    the Burmese should be referred to international criminal court and prosecuted
    whatever a few people might have done ,there is no justification whatsoever for inhumanity from Burmese thugs

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  • Reality
    Aug 12, 2012 - 8:47PM

    After turkey now Holy land think about Muslims………both countries do what ever their Lord(AMERICA) say………..

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  • Mj
    Aug 12, 2012 - 9:18PM

    Saudi aid is poisonous and destroys society bit by bit. Have we forgotten the sponsors who fund the madrassas to the tune of $100 million each year to spread their hateful and narrow minded ideology?

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  • malik
    Aug 12, 2012 - 9:26PM

    @midhat:
    You have not answered my question first: can you please do some research and tell me this:

    What did the Rohingya’s do that they are so reviled by everyone (including Bangladesh)? Surely, Rohingya’s must have done something – during their decades of living in Burma – to earn all that ill-will and opprobrium. What is that they have done ?

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  • Prabhat Pal
    Aug 12, 2012 - 9:48PM

    @Pakistan politics:
    No, Arabs and Turks were the last to come for their aid. Before them, American and Canadian NGOs were aiding Rohingyas until that was blocked by Bangladesh. Turks and Arabs are probably the last ones to wake up to this crisis, perhaps after much persuasion from other non-Arab nations in the background and even now they have not offered to give shelter to the displaced Rohingyas to ease some pressure off of Bangladesh. Arabs just threw money at them like some rich guy with utter contempt for a tattered beggar, at-least that’s what this gesture looks like to me.

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  • Mr S
    Aug 12, 2012 - 9:48PM

    Good work Saudia. Where are the champions of democracy, US hiding btw ? so as all those pseudo liberals

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  • Anwar
    Aug 12, 2012 - 10:04PM

    Its an investment… there is oil in them thar hills arabieRecommend

  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Aug 12, 2012 - 10:18PM

    May Be Saudi Arabia extends grant to re-built Bamyan Buddhas as that will help a great deal to integrate Muslims in Buddhist societies.

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  • Dushmann
    Aug 12, 2012 - 10:44PM

    Instead Saudi Arabia should give them citizenship. The Rohingyas proudly claim to be Arabs.

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  • Aug 12, 2012 - 11:14PM

    long live the king!

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  • ali
    Aug 12, 2012 - 11:16PM

    Well done KA. Where are the champions of democracy USA and Europe, oh i forgot, making oil deal with the bumese.

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  • Sharjeel Jawaid
    Aug 12, 2012 - 11:23PM

    Perhaps this was the easiest to do!

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  • Dr Zahid
    Aug 12, 2012 - 11:38PM

    Wow thats great and how much has this bulldog paid to syrian so called jihadis and afghan jihadis to destroy these lands and kill million of muslims? How much did they give to US to bomb libia and iraq? Recommend

  • asim
    Aug 12, 2012 - 11:49PM

    Pakistan needs 12b$ for Bhasha Dam; please donate this amount so that people should get rid of load shadding

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Aug 12, 2012 - 11:54PM

    Saudis are laways first and most generous to help muslims around the world.

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  • Raj - USA
    Aug 12, 2012 - 11:59PM

    In addition to what I have said above, I also feel that a deal has been worked out between KSA,USA and China on Syria. China will lift its veto on side with Saudi and USA and in return Saudi shall keep quiet on Burma. Fall of Syria is imminent and it shall cause collapse of Iran. No doubt, Iraq will welcome this deal on Syria.

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  • irfan yahya
    Aug 13, 2012 - 12:07AM

    The step should be appreciated.

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  • Sinister
    Aug 13, 2012 - 12:12AM

    @Prabhat Pal: dude no one wants to be in Burma, but many want to be in saudia, thats the reason they don’t give citizenship

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  • American Desi
    Aug 13, 2012 - 12:13AM

    Wahabi hypocrisy. How about providing citizenship for their suffering ‘brothers’ ?

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  • Amjad Hussain Dawar
    Aug 13, 2012 - 12:49AM

    Actually,we should first see what whats their problem?? is it the money that they now want??? No absolutely not.Their problems is that they are not being considered as a citizen of Myanmar(Burma).So what the Saudi government should do is to take the matter to the UN security council and ensure the safety and security of Rohingyas and try to solve the issue on permanent basis with help of international Community.In this way they can justify their position as an elder brother of all Muslims of the world.

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  • LionOfPunjab
    Aug 13, 2012 - 1:19AM

    Saudi sent $50 million to help burmese muslims, i pray-hope their living standards and religious piety does not increases as much as ours when the saudis decided to help us with billions of $$$.

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  • Ali
    Aug 13, 2012 - 1:24AM

    Aid to Mayanmar and death to muslims in Bahrian. Double standards!!

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  • Hamzah Rahmath
    Aug 13, 2012 - 1:25AM

    It’s too late to just donate aids, U don’t even know what the heck is going on with your brothers and sisters in Myanmar … Shame on So called Muslim Leaders!

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  • Azim
    Aug 13, 2012 - 2:03AM

    Hypocrats, and these are not leaders – remember these are dictators sitting on oil with help of their trusted friends – denying their own people free-will these oil lords spare no time to show how they are keen to see rest of the world free and happy.

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  • farhan
    Aug 13, 2012 - 2:06AM

    why can’t all muslim countries give them shelter !! where is pakistan,turkey,indonesia,malaysia,nigeria,tunisia,libya,lebanon ,uae and saudi arab

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  • Let the good sense pervail
    Aug 13, 2012 - 2:15AM

    Actually Saudia and Pakistan should have sent their armies to avenge the death of 30000 innocent Muslim Rohingya’s by the hands of terrorist Buddhist monks.
    Muslim Houses has been burned, infact muslim villages has been erased.
    Several Women and girls raped

    But Saudia instead send Aid to which shall help at least a little.
    But what have you given ?

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  • Vikram
    Aug 13, 2012 - 2:53AM

    Saudis will use that money to open mosques and madrassahs. Arabs will not let these people immigrate to their countries. Non arab Muslims are treated as lower caste. By letting lower caste people migrate means sooner or later their will be mixed marriages.

    Only Pakis can help these people. Paki non-State actors may already be looking for foreign students to join madrassahs in Pakistan. These people can be used for projects in India and Pakistan.

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  • ali
    Aug 13, 2012 - 3:41AM

    Atleast he gave $50M and did not loot $60M…

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  • Palwesha
    Aug 13, 2012 - 5:28AM

    @Malik Unfortunately like most cases of persecution througout history, minority groups do not have to ‘do’ anything. Their crime is their difference, different sex, ethnic group, religion, culture. Myanmar has been under the Burmese Juntas rule for over three decades. During this time many minority ethnic groups have been persecuted, the Karen, the Chin and of course the Rohingya. Under international law, the problem facing Rohingyas is their statelessness. Though they have been a part of Burmese society for centuries, they are still not accepted as Burmese citizens. Likewise when they enter Bangladesh, they are not given asylum or recognised as refugees. They are one of the most persecuted groups on earth precisely because noone will grant them protection under international law. We have only too look in our own backyard to see what happens when we persecute minority groups-Christians, Ahmedi’s etc. States persecute minorities because defining people as being the ‘other’ prevents anyone from having their rights protected by the state, or from gaining political representation and power. The Rohingyas are victims of state persecution.

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  • Gratgy
    Aug 13, 2012 - 9:25AM

    Maybe Saudi Arabia would appreciate other countries giving aid to minorities in Saudi Arabia as well

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  • Gratgy
    Aug 13, 2012 - 10:24AM

    Iran should provide aid to the Shia Minority in Pakistan

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  • Yahya Bandukda
    Aug 13, 2012 - 1:17PM

    Very well, what I can figure out is that start bashing against anything done well by Muslims and criticizes it without being rational. Yes, many of the posts are right about Saudi and its proxy war with Iran but in this context where Muslims are suffering; Allah knows what is going there can’t we be one? And say, yes we are there to help and aid you irrespective of our sects, cast and ethnicity. We are always fighting as a Ummah and stops each other of doing anything good. What Taliban did with Budha in Bamyan was also ill tolerance and condemnable act but can we punish Myanmar Muslims because of what bad Taliban did in Afghanistan? Secondly, are we getting proper media coverage of Myanmar on CNN, BBC and other channels?

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  • Sorwar
    Aug 13, 2012 - 1:34PM

    Salam all, what I find quite disturbing is that there are too many political views. We should all put our differences aside and find a way to help the victims. They have been living there for more than 1600 years now and surely that qulifies them to be Burmese. This is the month of Ramadan and our heat should be purified not not filled with haterate. Ummati Mohammadi, bless you all.

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  • Sharfuddin
    Aug 13, 2012 - 7:59PM

    But they don’t do this kind of heinous act with other people. so don’t think negatively today it is happened with them tomorrow it could be you and me.

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  • Muhammad
    Aug 13, 2012 - 8:57PM

    @Pk_guy:
    Look at your statement:

    “The burmese genocie is the biggest in this decade I GUESS”

    Stop your guesswork. There is no genocide in Burma.

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  • Doch
    Aug 14, 2012 - 5:11PM

    Who did they give the money to? The Burmese Government? This is a publicity stunt. These poor muslims have no homes or organizations representing them.

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  • a hosain
    Aug 17, 2012 - 1:32AM

    @Raj – USA:
    hindu is a word means black, thief, dacoit, wayleyers, used by persians to humiliate the blackskin indians. later bristish scholar steven jones coined the wprd to refer the word hindu to describe the various ethnic groups of india, and raja ram mohon roy also accepted the word hindu.

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  • arish jamal
    Aug 20, 2012 - 10:09AM

    this is very shameful act of burma
    if they have courage they should fight bangladesh and indonesia
    then they will have their fate

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  • Ollie Raza
    Aug 21, 2012 - 9:10PM

    $50 million can buy a lot of Suicide bombers, Jihadis and Shariah madrassas. It is just the matter of time now, Burma will be staging ground for more terrorism in the sub- continent. You know who will be used to distribute this $50 million? of course, Let sleeper present there in cooperation with Bangadesh Jamat Islami. After Pakistanis, now these poor souls are falling into the trap.

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