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22 January, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Rohingyas must not be repatriated forcefully

Rohingyas must not be repatriated forcefully

We welcome the unequivocal statement from the government that the Rohingyas, who were forced to flee the Rakhine state in Myanmar in the face of persecution, will not be forced to go back. The government of Bangladesh has also said that any return will be voluntary and work is underway from both countries to ensure that the Rohingyas can go back to a situation of security and safety.

In view of the global concern over the actual socio political conditions in Rakhine, this is the best approach. Since August 2017, global attention has been on Bangladesh and Myanmar over the oppression of Rohingyas and their flight to Bangladesh from Myanmar to find safety and shelter. In the last six months, Myanmar plus her fledgling democratic administration have come under flak from all quarters although no major sanction has been imposed for the abominable treatment of an ethnic minority.

However, it’s heartening to hear that the displaced can go back to their homes though we believe there has to be constant international vigilance on the overall atmosphere in Rakhine to ensure that the hapless masses are not being pushed back into further discrimination.

Bangladesh, with her finite resources, remarkable sense of compassion and laudable patience is doing everything within her power with the support of international development bodies to make lives of displaced people comfortable and free of disease. What is essential now is to get a full picture of what Myanmar will do once these people go back. Regrettably, so far we have heard rather vague statements from the civilian administration and almost nothing substantial from the Burmese military.

This is disquieting!

Rohingyas can only return to their hurriedly abandoned lives and livelihoods once there is a UN team present in Rakhine to give the go ahead.

Delivering rhetoric about going back to a life of dignity is easy, what is tough is providing the setting where an ethnic minority feels itself to be a part of society.

Myanmar has to clearly delineate how she will accommodate the displaced people within her mutli- ethnic social canvas. In addition, there needs to be statement from the military that the returnees will not be made victims of prejudice.

The repatriation process can be carried out in phases so once the initial batches of people settle down, others will feel comfortable to go back.

It’s been said before, sending back traumatized people are never a solution; the displaced masses must feel that Myanmar administration plus the military feel a sense of remorse for what they have done.     

 

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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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