Why a bilateral solution won’t work
Published at 06:44 PM November 19, 2017
Last updated at 12:26 AM November 20, 2017
China’s proposal for bilateral talks between Bangladesh and Myanmar without getting the international community involved makes no sense
When dealing with a humanitarian crisis, the consensus of the international community is key. Which is why, after consistently blocking the UN Security Council on any meaningful resolution to the Rohingya crisis, China’s latest proposal for a bilateral solution between Bangladesh and Myanmar — with the caveat that the international community stay out of it — is hard to take seriously.
We have already said at the start of the month, when Suu Kyi made a similar suggestion, that such a proposal appears to be — at best — a poorly cloaked attempt at cornering Bangladesh and attempting to strong-arm us into accepting an unacceptable and damaging status quo. At worst, it is a cynical ploy to buy further time to complete the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya.To believe that such a proposal is placed out of concern for the humanitarian crisis that that has been perpetrated by Myanmar strains credulity. Given their public mendacity, intransigence, and brutality, it is difficult to believe that Myanmar will negotiate in good faith.
They have refused to budge from an outdated 1993 agreement on repatriation, which didn’t work then, and certainly won’t work now. Our prime minister is, therefore, absolutely right to reject China’s new proposal, which appears to be little more than an attempt to provide cover for Myanmar at the expense of Bangladesh.
China’s proposal for bilateral talks between Bangladesh and Myanmar without getting the international community involved makes no sense. Given Myanmar’s record, international pressure is the only way to get Myanmar to play ball, and everybody knows it. Let us not waste our time.
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