MNA Editorial Desk: Myanmar is ready to welcome the Rohingyas and now they themselves have to take the decision whether they will go back or not, said the Myanmar foreign secretary U Myint Thu on Monday.
“We are ready to welcome them, we are ready to receive them. But the only thing is that they have to decide by themselves whether they will go back or not” he told reporters after wrapping up the delegation’s meeting with the foreign ministry officials at the state guest house Meghna in the city.
“We have provided them with all information regarding our preparations for repatriation. We hear their voices, we hear their concerns. Actually we have provided explanations on key issues, and I think time is right time for them to consider by themselves whether they should go back or not.”
The Myanmar foreign secretary, who led a 15 member joint delegation of Myanmar and ASEN, pledged that they will continue their engagement with the Rohingyas and their dialogue with Bangladesh government and ASEAN to accelerate the repatriation process.
He pointed out that during their two meetings with the representatives of the Rohingya community in Cox’s Bazar on Saturday and Sunday, they have provided them with a fact sheet, which contained information about preparations on repatriation.
Access to justice, access to education and health, access to social services and issues related to citizenship are included in the fact sheet, he mentioned.
“We have come here to build trust among them,” he added.
Asked what was the reaction of the Rohingyas, Mr Myint Thu said, “They all were smiling”.
Bangladesh foreign secretary (Bilateral) Kamrul Ahsan said the Myanmar delegation’s visit was a move to positive direction in regards to the repatriation process.
Bangladesh has provided with a second list of 25000 people of 6000 Rohingya families to Myanmar this time, he informed.
Previously, a list of 30,000 people of 8,000 families were handed over to Myanmar for verification.
Asked whether the repatriation can be started in September as the Bangladesh foreign minister earlier mentioned, Mr Ahsan said that it can be done if the Rohingyas are convinced.
Representative of the ASEAN delegation Annel Capili said, they have prepared a need assessment survey in Northern Rakhine for the repatriation.
“A series of more expanded and comprehensive survey is down the lane” he added.
“The voices of Rohingyas need to be heard and we want to listen to them,” Mr Capili said.
The delegation arrived in Bangladesh on Saturday and will leave today (Monday).
They had meetings with Rohingya refugees, including representatives from Christian and Hindu community.
They had also a meeting with representatives of UN organizations who are working in the Rohingya camps for humanitarian response.