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2 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Rohingyas threatened on no-man’s land

Rohingyas threatened on no-man’s land

While the repatriation of the Rohingyas residing in Bangladesh camps seems uncertain with a justifiable sense of fear among the terrified masses, a new development has seen the Myanmar army intimidating people living on a thin strip of no-man’s land between Bangladesh and Burma. Reportedly, in addition to setting up barbed wire and enhancing security posts, the Myanmar border force is using loudhailers ordering the people on the no-man’s land to leave or face prosecution.

Naturally, these people, who have seen mindless violence unleashed by the Burmese army in the name of uprooting rebellious elements, are unwilling to go back to a scene of carnage. Their only way is towards Bangladesh, where they can find refuge plus security. About 150 families that have crossed into Bangladesh have firmly stated that unless they are given some assurance about their ethnic identity and provided citizenship, they will not go back to Rakhine State.

The concern of the Rohingya is valid and we have underscored through our editorials that if a community has to go back then they must have a coherent concept about the social condition they are going back to. Unfortunately, with the Myanamr authority playing a protracted game of cloak and dagger, the real conditions in Rakhine are hazy. The refusal to allow UN agencies to go for a field level inspection only compounds fears of a persistent environment steeped in fear.

Disquietingly, a double-faced game is being played with the signing of a repatriation agreement on one side and systematic acts aimed at sustaining a sense of terror on the other. Whether there is a genuine desire in Myanmar to accept charges of brutality and take back the Rohingyas is actually the main question that comes back six months into the crisis. A state of impasse exists with no headway made as to how the stranded people will go back. Shockingly, no amount of condemnation from any quarter seems to have any impact on Myanmar.

The marked unwillingness of the major powers to take any stringent measure on Burma is galling. From August 2017 till today these nations have only made appeals to a regime which is propped up by the military. When it’s clear that the army is calling the shots in Burma, the persistence of Western nations to send emissaries to talk to the flimsy civilian administration is nothing short of travesty.

This crisis will not see any progress with platitudes, gentle words or requests. Unless there are embargoes, trade sanctions plus united international pressure from US, UK, India and others, Rohingyas will continue to languish. 

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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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