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Myanmar seeks BD reps visit areas of displaced Rohingyas
Rohingya refugees at a camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, January 1, 2019. © 2019 AP Photo via HRW

Myanmar seeks BD reps visit areas of displaced Rohingyas

Dhaka, Sept 11 – In a new development of Rohingya crisis, Myanmar government has agreed to take high level representatives of Bangladesh to make a visit to the affected areas in Myanmar from where Rohingya people were displaced due to the persecution of the Myanmar army. Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen yesterday said, “Myanmar government has recently agreed to take our ambassador and some other ambassadors to the areas where the Rohingyas were persecuted. Earlier they did not agree with it.”
The minister came up with such statement before the journalists after hailing from a seminar of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) on Sustainable Development Goal-3 : Good Health and Well-Being at its office in the capital.
Bangladesh repeatedly told the Myanmar government that they should allow the international community to enter into the affected areas in Rakhine state to show that Myanmar is improving the condition of the areas to convince the Rohingyas about safety.
The foreign minister yesterday said, “Myanmar government informed us that they are ready for the repatriation of the Rohingyas. But we asked them to explain how they are ready. Then they agreed to take our ambassador and some other ambassadors to the affected areas to show the scenario.”
Even after the failure of the second attempt of the Rohingya repatriation on August 22 as the Rohingyas were not convinced about their safety and security in their place of origin, foreign minister earlier said that Myanmar should take some of their Rohingya leaders to the affected areas to convince them by showing that they have improved the condition for their repatriation.
The foreign minister once again on Wednesday said, “It is the Myanmar government’s responsibility to convince their people to take them back home. They have failed at this point. They could not convince their people to start the repatriation.”
The minister further said that Bangladesh would not forcibly send the Rohingya people back as a treaty has been signed with Myanmar in this regard.
In reply to a query that the Rohingya people did not go back because of the lack of preparation of Bangladesh, the minister said, “The Rohingya did not go because there is a condition that they would return voluntarily. We would not forcibly send anyone back.”
However, the voluntary return is applicable when a person gets the ‘refugee status’.
But the minister said, “We signed an agreement that we would not forcibly send them back. We still stand that point. But we want that Myanmar government should take their people back as soon as possible.”
He further said, “The solution of the Rohingya crisis is that they are the people of Myanmar and they have to go back.”
In reply to a query that Myanmar government itself reportedly is erecting government structures in those affected areas, he said, “I don’t have any such information. I came to know from you (journalists). But Myanmar must have some arrangements so that Rohingyas can stay there.
“When the Rohingyas fled to our country from Myanmar they did not think of their houses. When they will start going back there they will be able to build their houses. If they don’t go back, how it will begin,” he added.
The minister also said Myanmar government is repeatedly informing Bangladesh that they have made arrangement for the displaced people there.
Replying to the relocation of the Rohingya people to the Bhasanchar, he said, “Bhasanchar is a small temporary arrangement for some days. It is not a solution. The current camps are very congested as around 11 lakh people are living in a congested area of 6,800 acre lands. Besides, we feared of landslide during monsoon. So we thought of the temporary arrangement.”
In reply to another query, he said, “We want that Myanmar would be cordial to take them back.”
Since the influx of Rohingya people to Bangladesh for shelter in mid 2017, around 1.1 million Rohingya people are staying here as Bangladesh sheltered them on humanitarian ground.
Two years have passed since the arrival of the Rohingya people in Bangladesh. Two attempts were made so far for their repatriation but no Rohingya has returned to their place of origin on the plea that safety and security have not been ensured.
Bangladesh is continuing its efforts to put pressure on Myanmar by international communities and different countries especially by China and India as both the countries have direct influence on Myanmar.
Recently during the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to China brought an assurance that China would work for the repatriation of the Rohingya.
During the second attempt of repatriation, Chinese representative was present on the occasion but the repatriation did not take place as the Rohingyas were adamant that they would not return until they get their citizenship rights in Myanmar. – Staff Reporter

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