Demonstration held against OIC in USA

Maung Rammar

Dhaka: Over 100 ethnic people from Burma have staged a demonstration against the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) outside its head office in New York in USA on 20th of October.

Demonstrators protested against the OIC’s plan to open its branch offices in Burma demanding it respects the desires of the Burmese people.

The representatives of the Burma Today News Agency, the National Council Union of Burma (NCUB) and the International Foundation for the Burmese National Congress are said to have participated in the demonstration as well.

U Ray Htut, the President of the International Foundation for Burma National Congress said the OIC should respect the desire of the local people.

“This matter is totally unacceptable not only to the Arakanese, but also all ethnic people must protest against it decisively. Now the people at home are opposed to it and the Burmese people living in exile have to oppose it as well. If the OIC forcibly continues its moves without regarding the people’s desire, the problem will become more complicated”, said U Ray Htut.

U Khine Aung Kyaw, an Arakanese who participated in the demonstration, also said, the Burmese government should officially inform to the OIC that it will not allow its offices in Burma.

“We have heard the statement from the presidential office that the OIC will not open its offices in Burma as the people across the country have protested against the opening of its offices. But the Burmese government as well as its ministry of border affairs that has signed the deal with the OIC are still necessary to officially inform to the OIC that they have already cancelled its agreements to accept its offices”, said U Khine Aung Kyaw.

Ko Moe Chan, another participant, also said the people’s representatives in the parliaments are also necessary to urge the government to suspend its agreements with the OIC considering the public backlash currently occurring across the country.

Ko Hla Htay, an organizer of the demonstration, told Narinjara that it would be like the OIC is violating the rights of the Burmese people if it disregards the people’s will and voice.

“The OIC’s plans are unacceptable. Whatsoever it carries out—peace or humanitarian operations—it must pay attention to the voices of the local people and it would need the people’s acceptance as well. Now the Burmese people at home as well as abroad are demonstrating their open objections to its plans. If it moves on its plans without regarding the local people’s objections, it is violating the rights of the peoples”, said Ko Hla Htay.

The demonstrators shouted “Respect the voices of Burmese people” and “Suspend the plans for offices” during their demonstration outside the OIC head office as well.

Their statement of the demonstration issued in Burmese and English was read by a participant known as Ko Kyaw Kyaw and is said to have been sent to the OIC through its PO Box set up in front of its office.

The statement said the OIC is demanded to suspend its plans for opening offices in Burma because of the reason that OIC is neither a sub-organization of the United Nations nor a regional organization like ASEAN and EU, but the organization based upon the religion, and Burma is not one of its member states.

The demonstration was held at 1 pm local time on 20th of October and participated in by over 100 different ethnic peoples of Burma such as Burman, Mon, Arakanese and Karen who are now in the USA.