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23 September, 2018 12:25:57 AM
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Actions bypassing UNSC may be an option, say diplomats

Crimes committed by Myanmar military
HUMAYUN KABIR BHUYAN
Actions bypassing UNSC may 
be an option, say diplomats

The international community, especially the top countries of the world including China and Russia, appears to be under pressure to act after the release of the full report of a United Nations fact-finding mission on Myanmar that has detailed horrific crimes committed by the Myanmar military against Rohingya population in northern Rakhine, Bangladeshi and foreign diplomats have told The Independent. The apparent sea change has made Bangladesh little hopeful with scepticism in regards to the solution to the Rohingya crisis, they said. The diplomats further said that against the ‘compelling’ evidence produced by none other than a UN fact-finding mission cannot be just brushed aside. The major international actors, including China and Russia, may feel that they will have to do something to preserve their credibility and image, they said. According to a senior diplomat of a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), “Though there’s a long way to go, we might be in a position in the future that actions might be taken against Myanmar bypassing the UNSC as China and Russia are not board with the rest of the members of the council.”

Even if China, Russia and India will not publicly voice their opinion to penalise Myanmar, they well may try to play some role to persuade Myanmar to solve the crisis. “Definitely, the UN fact-finding mission’s report is a huge burden on the top international players. Allegations of oppression against Rohingyas are nothing new to the world. But, this time round, it is different in terms of severity,” a senior Bangladeshi diplomat said.

“I can sense some change of attitude among the countries who are opposed to any punitive measures against Myanmar,” he said. “So, I would say yes we are little hopeful. At the same time, we are sceptical as well given the past experiences,” he added. “Beijing has taken an initiative for a minister-level meeting between Bangladesh, Myanmar and China on September 27 on the sidelines of the ongoing 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA),” another senior diplomat said.

The Chinese move is part of its plan to resolve the crisis bilaterally through beginning the repatriation as early as possible, he said. Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali will sit with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and Myanmar minister Tint Swe in New York, said the diplomat.

“You may read something into it. China has a huge economic interest in Myanmar and it also has a huge influence on the Myanmar government,” he said. Citing the adoption of a motion by the Canadian parliament describing the crimes as genocide, another diplomat said, “We are expecting such responses from many countries. These all are bound to have an impact on the international community.” “As the full report was released in the lead up to the 73rd UNGA session, the issue will get prominence during the sitting. And, the prime minister and our other leaders will highlight the issue on heels of the report at various level,” he said. “I think the international players have no choice but to be tougher against Myanmar after what the world has learned from the report,” said a western diplomat stationed in Dhaka.


IK

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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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