POST TIME: 8 November, 2018 12:57:36 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 8 November, 2018 09:12:06 AM
Dhaka tries to withstand int’l pressure against Rohingya repatriation
Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan, Dhaka

Dhaka tries to withstand int’l pressure against Rohingya repatriation

In the lead up to a probable beginning of the repatriation of Rohingyas, Bangladesh is facing pressure from the international community not to make the persecuted people return to Rakhine as the condition there is still not favourable and safe, government officials told The Independent yesterday.

Dhaka is trying to withstand the pressure, arguing that it is the responsibility of Myanmar to create a conducive environment for its people and the international community should concentrate on making sure that Naypyitaw does the needful, they said.

In accordance with the decision taken at the latest meeting of the joint working group in Dhaka on October 30, Bangladesh is making preparations to begin the repatriation on November 15 or around that date. And, the Bangladeshi officials have already started approaching the Rohingyas cleared by the Myanmar authorities to take preparations to be repatriated to their homes in Rakhine.

Yanghee Lee, the United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, issued a statement on Tuesday, urging both Dhaka and Naypyitaw to halt what she called ‘rushed plans’ to begin the repatriation.

In the statement, the special rapporteur has implored Bangladesh to shelve plans to start repatriating Rohingya refugees to Rakhine State this month, saying the Myanmar government had failed to provide guarantees that they (refugees) would not suffer the same persecution and horrific violence all over again.

“I have not seen any evidence of the government of Myanmar taking concrete and visible measures to create an environment where the Rohingyas can return to their place of origin and live there safely with their fundamental rights guaranteed,” she said.

Meanwhile, UN secretary-general’s special envoy on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener was due to arrive in the capital yesterday on her third visit to the country since her appointment at the end of April. Last month, she visited Myanmar as well.               

“Yes, the members of the international community, especially the United Nations, Europeans, the United States, Canada and Australia, have long been saying that the Rohingyas should not be sent back before ensuring a safe, secure and dignified environment,” a senior government official said.

“But, how long shall we wait for favourable environment?” he questioned adding, “It is the responsibility of the Myanmar government to make sure the right conditions for the return of its people.”

“The international community must realise that Bangladesh has been suffering without being even a party to the crisis and it has so far done beyond its capability to help the persecuted people,” said a senior official of the foreign ministry, adding, “The international community must tell the government in Naypyitaw to do what it takes to create favourable conditions.”

“We need to begin the repatriation as soon as possible. We have done our bit by hosting hundreds of thousands of persecuted people.