repatriation

Myanmar solely responsible for Rohingya repatriation failure, says Bangladesh

MNA Editorial Desk: Bangladesh on Sunday said Myanmar is solely responsible for the non-commencement of Rohingya repatriation as it fails to ensure conducive environment in Rakhine state.

Myanmar must not expect Bangladesh to cooperate in repatriation in an uncertain environment in Rakhine, the foreign ministry said in response to Myanmar’s allegation that repatriation could not be started due to the non-cooperation of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh observes that Myanmar is entirely responsible for failure in encouraging the displaced Rohingya to return voluntarily in an appropriate manner.

Unfortunately, Myanmar has utterly failed to demonstrate any political will to fulfil its obligations and it is now trying to shift the onus on Bangladesh, the statement added.

At a recent press conference on 15th November 2019 by the Ministry of the State Counsellor’s Office of Myanmar, a spokesperson attributed the non-commencement of repatriation of the Rohingya entirely to non-cooperation and non-respect of bilateral arrangements by Bangladesh.

It is an established fact that the Rohingya crisis from systematic disenfranchisement and brutal persecutions of this religious minority by the successive regimes in Myanmar, said the foreign ministry.

Bangladesh said, the persecution is being carried on by the present Myanmar government and that is the sole reason for the gravity of the crisis.

The crisis originated in Myanmar and the solution entirely lies there.

“Continued rally of fabricated information, misrepresentation of facts, unsubstantiated claims, and unwarranted accusations to unjustifiably shift the onus of the Rohingya crisis on Bangladesh testifies the campaign of the Government of Myanmar to avoid its obligations to create an environment in Rakhine conducive for the sustained repatriation and reintegration of the forcibly displaced Rohingya in their homeland,” the ministry said.

Sincerity of Bangladesh in facilitating earliest repatriation of Rohingya as per bilateral instruments has been unquestionably established through its actions.

In the presence of Myanmar official in Cox’s Bazar during the repatriation attempt in August 2019, the Rohingya made it clear to the world media that they possess strong desire to voluntarily return to their ancestral homeland if and only if they are assured of safety, security, and sustainable living in Rakhine.

The foreign ministry said, despite disappointing experiences in the past and greater challenges ahead, Bangladesh again primarily relied on bilateral engagements with Myanmar and concluded two instruments on return.

As per bilateral instruments, Myanmar is under obligation to bring back normalcy in Rakhine and create an environment conducive for repatriation and reintegration of the Rohingya addressing the root causes, including safety and security, citizenship, freedom of movement, access to basic services and livelihood, return to places of origin or any nearest place of their choice.

Myanmar’s claim of return of a handful number of people, who are not verified, using their personal contacts with Myanmar officials does not testify any improvement of the ground reality in Rakhine.

A recent comprehensive report on these returnees by Radio Free Asia rather reveals total lack of preparedness in ensuring a healthy environment on the part of Myanmar Government, the ministry states.

While Myanmar claims that the situation in Rakhine is conducive enough for repatriation, it must allow the international community including UN officials, international media, and representatives of the prospective returnees to visit the places of return to assess the ground reality and help the returnees making an informed choice.

“Myanmar always alleges that Rohingya do not dare to express their desire to return due to intimidation and negative propaganda by ARSA elements and NGO staff. It is totally baseless and must have originated out of some ulterior motive.”

The Government of Bangladesh has taken adequate measures to ensure that the potential returnees are able to express their views on return without any influence or threat from any quarter.

Myanmar is carrying out such propaganda to avoid its responsibility and misguide the international community.

“There are no ARSA activities at Rohingya camps. It is not possible to operate terrorist bases anywhere in Bangladesh because of high alertness and effective preventive measures by the security forces in the line with “zero tolerance policy” of the present Government.”

Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed in bilateral Arrangements to refrain from conceiving and implementing any policy which is discriminatory to any particular community. For the matter of return and reintegration, same procedure should apply to everybody, regardless of ethnic religious identity and without discrimination.

It is pertinent to note that Myanmar has so far verified only 65 out of about 450 Hindu who took shelter in Bangladesh, the statement said.

Urging Myanmar to stop false campaign against Bangladesh, the statement said, Bangladesh has consistently been pursuing the policy of good neighbourhood to resolve the protracted crisis through dialogues.

Pointing finger to Myanmar, Bangladesh said, unjustified accusations on the part of a party, who is solely held responsible for the crisis, are totally unacceptable.

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