Deputy of the National Board of Zakat (BAZNAS), Arifin Purwakananta, is not worried about the current policy of the Myanmar government that has blocked all aid from other countries. According to him, so far BAZNAS has never had trouble to get into Myanmar to help the victims of the ethnic conflict of Muslim Rohingya.

"We channel the assistance through or by coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Indonesian Humanitarian Alliance for Myanmar (AKIM) and we have been working with partners there. So, it happens that BAZNAS has no difficulties," said Arifin at the BAZNAS office, Central Jakarta on Monday (4/9).

Arifin admitted, to enter into Rakhine, Myanmar, at this time is not an easy thing. However, Baznas tried to get around to entering Myanmar by not targeting Rakhine, the Rohingya ethnic location, directly. He said, indeed in the context of geopolitics and recent developments in Myanmar, to penetrate into Rakhine is difficult. To that end, BAZNAS seeks to find other alternatives to be penetrated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Yes, maybe because our Minister (of Foreign Affairs) is a woman and the Myanmar authority is a woman too, and so on, maybe the Indonesian government has adopted approaches that are easy to penetrate. For example maybe not by using pressure, but by focusing on humanity," said Arifin.

Myanmar has blocked all aid from UN agencies that provide food, water and medicine supplies to thousands of desperate civilians amid a bloody military campaign in Myanmar. According to the UN Coordinating Office in Myanmar, aid shipments are suspended for security reasons and a government visit ban. The authorities also did not give the operation permit to the relief agency so that the delivery had to be delayed.

(Source: | Transl: amelya/