Obligating Myanmar to honour repatriation agreement

The world may not have acted with greater activism on the Rohingya issue. But there is notably near total consensus of views in the global context that the sheer inhumanity or too truculent behavior the rank and file of the Rohingya civilian population have been facing for long at the hands of the genocide backers in Myanmar, they deserve to be loathed and resisted.
The United Nations (UN) as a whole and its relevant agencies have been extremely loud in their denunciation of the continuing pogrom against Rohingyas. The European Union (EU) countries have been candid in their condemnation of the persecution of Rohingyas. The US administration has repeatedly denounced the Myanmar government for flagrant violation of the human rights of the Rohingyas.Regionally, the leaders of two most important countries–Indonesia and Malaysia, plus Turkey–have criticized the nonchalant attitude of the Myanmar authorities and vowed to help the Rohingyas any way they can. In sum, there exists an ‘universal unity of views’ on the urgency of arm twisting the Myanmar government to treat the Rohingyas humanely and solve the Rohingya problem on the basis of legality and fairness for good.
Thus, Bangladesh should have no qualms in taking a decision decisively on what it should do. In other words it should make up its mind to substantially help the Rohingyas who are in great peril. Furthermore, it should feel strong and upright in feeling that such a stand on its part would have the overwhelming support of the international community as the right one or just one.
Myanmar has so far made a joke of repatriating the Rohingyas. But every time we seem to be persuaded by their pretensions. They never had or will have a genuine policy of taking back the Rohingyas in substantial number but they have a set unwavering and dedicated plan of genocide and expulsion against the entire Rohingya population. We are possibly living in a fool’s paradise if we believe otherwise and think that at some stage the Myanmar authorities can be talked into doing what is right and just. If they had any good intentions then they would not have taken away long ago the inalienable rights of Rohingyas to be Myanmar’s citizens, deprived of voting and other rights in their own countries. In fact, the Rohingyas today are the only stateless people on earth deprived of basic human rights.
We must have a policy vis-à-vis Mynmar that would truly work. Banking on the universal groundswell of sympathy for the persecuted Rohingyas, we must use this leverage appropriately to mobilize formidable international pressure on the Myanmar government to commit to a sustainable solution of the Rohingya problem. The solution must include giving of full political and civil rights to the Rohingya people or the vital citizenship to them. Intense international pressure and persuasion without let upstand a good chance of sustainable creation ofconditions in Myanmar ultimately that would build up the confidence of Rohingyas to go on living in that country and to return to it from Bangladesh . In fact, sustainable activities of the Myanmar government to achieving this end is the key to solving the Rohingya problem in the long run.
Bangladesh should also go all out diplomatically to get international sanctions applied against Myanmar if it decides not to agree to such a course. Bangladesh must also employ all its diplomatic mite to have the issue of the persecution of Rohingyasraised in the UN Security Council and the passing of a resolution in that body urging the Myanmarese authorities to immediately normalize conditions inside Maynmar failing in which would lead to punitive international sanctions against it.
Experts have recommended strongly that Bangladesh should immediately concert all its activities diplomatically and otherwise to have a safe zone established within the Rakhine state where the present displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh can safely return under UN auspices, protection and guidance. Bangladesh must concentrate its efforts in all out fashion to this end.
Furthermore, Bangladesh also needs to keep all options in place specially the military one. If everything fails, then we must be prepared to intervene in Rakhine military to stop the Rohingya exodus and create conditions for the resettlement of the Rohingya people there on a sustainable basis.
In a rather deceptive manner it seems, the Myanmar government recently signed an agreement to take back Rohingyas who fled to Bangladesh since August 2017, But it has already defaulted on its pledged schedule of starting the repatriation process from last January saying they could not take proper preparations to that end. There is also every possibility that Myanmar authorities will foot drag on the commitment stating that the ready to be repatriated Rohingyas are yet to be satisfactorily verified in relation to their residence in Myanmar. Thus, there is every chance that they may ultimately take back a small number on the plea that the true identities of the rest far greater number cannot be verified. Myanmar did such things in the past and there is every indication they may do so again. According to reports, they have hardly started the process of building homes and reception centres for Rohingyas to return from Bangladesh. This possibly shows the real lack of interest in the repatriation process.
Therefore, Bangladesh must not feel assured by only having an agreement in place with Myanmar on paper. It must absolutely prevail on Myanmar to include the UN, its agencies and other reputed international organizations in the repatriation process. Without such inclusion Myanmar is most likely to renege on the repatriation agreement. There is just no alternative for Bangladesh other than keeping sustained pressure on Myanmar to compel it to sincerely honour the repatriation agreement failing which it would face the admonition and penal actions from the international community.


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