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31 January, 2018 12:51:42 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 31 January, 2018 10:56:08 AM
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US supports documenting efforts to bring perpetrators to justice

Atrocities in Rakhine
DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT
US supports documenting efforts to bring perpetrators to justice

The United States is supporting the efforts to document the evidences of atrocities occurred in the Rakhine State of Myanmar that may be used when the perpetrators will be brought to justice. “We are bearing witness and supporting efforts to document the atrocities that occurred, so when the time comes to bring individuals to justice, there will be record and record of authoring of that information,” US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat said yesterday while replying to questions in relations to putting more pressure on Myanmar to take hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas back. She was speaking at a programme organised by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) at its auditorium in the capital.

Washington is committed to continue supporting the efforts, she said, adding that US secretary of state Rex Tillerson ‘called (for) a finding on ethnic cleansing in very rapid order about what was happening in Myanmar’.

The ambassador was replying to a volley of questions from the audience after a lecture on ‘The United States and the Indo-Pacific Region’ by US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Daniel N Rosenblum.

“We have never lifted military sanctions against the Burmese government. So, the sanction is in place. In addition, we have imposed targeted sanctions on sitting military individuals we believe are responsible,” she said.        

The US has already put significant pressure and stepped up its efforts including additional sanctions as part of Washington’s efforts to ‘help’ the Myanmar government take back its people, she added.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Rosenblum said Washington is supportive of the negotiations and agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar about the repatriation, but laid emphasis on voluntary and dignified return of the

Rohingyas. “We welcome the commitment of the government of Burma to take back the refuges when it is safe. We continue to call on Myanmar to create the right condition in Rakhine state that will facilitate safe return of refugees,” he said.

“You know Secretary Tillerson has made some strong comments and continues speaking out against the atrocities that have been committed in the Rakhine state,” said the official.

He also stressed the need for the Myanmar military to ensure the safety of the returnees as pledged by the civilian government.

“We will keep speaking up and recognising the sacrifices Bangladesh has made in dealing with this terrible tragedy,” he added.

In his lecture, the US deputy assistant secretary said that the success of the Indo-Pacific region ‘is not an abstract concept to us but one that we care about very deeply’.

“And it’s something I know that Bangladesh, strategically located at the crossroads between South and Southeast Asia, cares a great deal about as well,” he said.

During the question and answer sessions, many in the audience pointed out that Bangladesh always has to balance in terms of its relationship with US, China and India, as Dhaka has strong relationship with all these three countries.

Responding to these questions, the US official said that Washington is not asking Bangladesh to chose anybody and that it is the sovereign right of a country to choose as long as fair play, transparency and accountability are ensured.

“We are not asking countries to choose countries. We are reaffirming country’s sovereignty as to how you want to arrange your relationship with other countries,” said Rosenblum.

MK

 

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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.

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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