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16 November, 2018 10:19:06 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 16 November, 2018 06:01:09 PM

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Myanmar blames Bangladesh for repatriation failure

Independent Online Desk
Myanmar blames Bangladesh for repatriation failure
Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs to Myanmar U Myint Thu (centre), talks during a press conference in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Photo: EPA

Myanmar on Thursday accused the Bangladesh government of failing to repatriate the first batch of over 2000 refugees to northern Rakhine State.

The start of the repatriation was supposed to start yessterday as agreed by the two countries, but no refugees returned to Myanmar, where authorities were waiting to receive them.  

U Myint Thu, permanent secretary of Foreign Affairs, told a press conference in Nay Pyi Taw the Bangladesh government had failed to abide by the agreement on repatriation, and those who were on the repatriation list were not informed. 

“Bangladesh failed to make the arrangements to which both countries agreed. The Myanmar side followed the arrangements,” he said.

U Mynt Thu said there are three kinds of northern Rakhine refugees in Bangladesh: those who do not want to return to Myanmar and want to go to third countries; those who were involved in violence in Rakhine on August 25 last year and do not want to return; and those who want to return to relatives in Myanmar.  

“The first two types of refugees will not return (to Myanmar),” he said, adding that the Myanmar government will continue to abide by the resettlement and reintegration agreement. 

“We must receive only verified refugees, as per our arrangement,” he said.

As agreed at the end of the October, the first batch of 2251 verified refugees were to return to the country yesterday, but about 1000 of them demonstrated against the repatriation, saying they will not go back as long as their security and right to Myanmar citizenship are not assured.According to Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC), the repatriation was called-off because nobody volunteered to return despite the fact that Bangladesh has tried to encourage the refugees to go back.

U Aye Lwin, a former member of the Kofi Annan Advisory Commission on Rakhine, said yesterday Myanmar needs to prove to the refugees that it is indeed safe for them to return. 

“There is nobody who does not want to return to his or her homeland.

Everybody wants to return their homeland. Therefore, the problem will be eased if the government guarantees the refugees’ requirements for security and livelihoods,” he said.The Myanmar Times.

KK

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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