12:00 AM, April 17, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:58 AM, April 17, 2018
Myanmar is not fooling anyone
Hoax in the name of repatriation!
Myanmar’s latest stunt of showing that it has started the repatriation process by taking back five Rohingyas, that too not from the main refugee camps in Chittagong where more than a million Rohingyas are sheltered, has only served to add to the suspicion that it is flouting the bilateral agreement with our country. Such a blatant hoax does not fool anyone, least of all the people of Bangladesh. Our home minister has rightly termed it a farce, more so because this so-called repatriation of a handful of people was not in the knowledge of the Bangladesh government, which is contrary to the bilateral agreement. An official of an international human rights organisation has termed it a “public relations exercise in an attempt to deflect attention for accountability for crimes committed in the Rakhine State.”
That seems to accurately sum up the motive behind such a hoax and insults the intelligence of Bangladesh’s public and government. It only shows Myanmar’s disregard for its repatriation agreement with Bangladesh and for the international condemnation of its acts. The agreement stipulated that Bangladesh would give Myanmar a list of Rohingya refugees which it would verify and then start the repatriation process. To apparently take back Rohingyas even without verifying the first list that has been given by our government raises questions.
It is about time that the international community acknowledges the lack of sincerity on Myanmar’s side to solve the Rohingya crisis, a crisis that Myanmar has singlehandedly created. The international community must act more decisively so that Myanmar stops playing games and takes the repatriation process seriously. Myanmar must give back to the Rohingyas taking refuge in Bangladesh, their rightful place in the Rakhine state, with full citizenship rights and the guarantee of their safety and dignity when they go back home. And the UN bodies must ensure these conditions.