Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lots of press, lots of hand-wringing, but still no accountability

 Yesterday I received word from JMD staff that a small community group is helping the Rohingya in Aceh Utara by providing as much food and clothing as they can, and have asked JMD to help.  I am wondering if this is the same tiny agency who was with us in 2009 in Aceh Timur, alone and with no help from any large aid agency, even the UN back then.

We did get some help from Mustafa, who worked at that time for Islamic Relief; he came with me to translate but on his own personal time and not in an official capacity from that agency.

The fact that JMD, a local and small NGO with a now-miniscule amount of funding, is being asked to assist the Rohingya again by a local agency even smaller than JMD, speaks volumes about the level of assistance the donor community is giving these refugees, world media notwithstanding.

According to Junaidi, “Now the Myanmar ambassador and Bangladesh ambassador in Jakarta is now in discussion with the Indonesian government regarding this refugees.  Seems the Rohingya want to stay in Aceh.”

Gosh, I can’t imagine why.

And Jokowi’s party is pressuring him to help.  But still, where is Myanmar?  If they don’t want the Rohingya at least they can send a check, sort of like the notes with $10 bills attached to baskets of abandoned children in the 20’s.  No, better they just ignore their 100,000 citizens and hope someone else deals with it.

And speaking of celebrities . . . you can hear the crickets in Hollywood over this. I remember Angelina Jolie having her picture taken with Rohingya back when we did the camp in 2009. Big talker about Burma--so many of them are. Where are the publicity-hungry faux humanitarians now? Congrats to the Malaysian PM, though. Job well done. Why should Malaysia take the rap? Put the blame where it belongs--on all the countries who suck up to Burma but avert their eyes from the genocide committed by those peaceful, loving, caring Buddhists.

The world’s priorities continue to astound me.

The UN has condemned the refusal of South-East Asian countries to rescue thousands of migrants adrift at sea.

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