Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - "We must take urgent action to help refugees and the persecuted Rohingya fleeing Myanmar". This is the appeal launched by the Commission for Migrants within the Episcopal Conference of Australia. In a note sent to Fides, the Commission states: "The Rohingya are fleeing from Myanmar to escape the persecution of the government and the denial of their citizenship. Many are blocked at sea, on precarious boats off the coast of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, and have limited supplies of food and water".
In this situation, the Director of the Commission, Fr. Maurizio Pettena, states: "The Rohingya seeking asylum were refused entry in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, because considered stateless. It is an emergency that requires an immediate solution: we need to find a safe haven for the Rohingya and implement a long-term strategy. We need to show compassion and solidarity towards the people of Rohingya in this moment".
The Commission, therefore, calls on the Australian government to take a leadership role in this situation and to act as a diplomatic mediator, to develop a long-term solution. The President of the Commission, His Exc. Mgr. Vincent Long, OFMConv, recalls being himself "a refugee" and calls on the Catholic community throughout Australia to "pray for the Rohingya migrants fleeing persecution at home. These people do not know what the future holds them".
The Commission has welcomed the news that the governments of Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to temporarily house some help Rohingya. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 05/06/2015)