Vijaya Laxmi Tripura
During the ongoing General Assembly of the United Nations Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has rightly said, “The Rohingya crisis is now becoming a regional threat”. He has sought expeditious interventions from the international community for a permanent solution to the crisis. For over two years, Myanmar regime has been playing foul with this worst-ever humanitarian crisis thus turning Rohingya crisis into a regional threat as any further delay in repatriation of over one million Rohingya refugees would provoke these unfortunate community in picking up arms and begin arms resentment against Myanmar, which may even spread up to those friendly nations of Naypyidaw – more precisely – China and India. Considering this potential threat, Bangladesh PM has told the UNGA, “Myanmar must manifest clear political will supported by concrete actions for sustainable return and reintegration of Rohingyas to Myanmar”.
In her second proposal, the premier said that Myanmar must build trust among the Rohingyas by discarding discriminatory laws and practices and allowing – ”go and see” visit to the Northern Rakhine by the Rohingya representatives.
“Myanmar must guarantee security and safety of the Rohingyas by deploying civilian monitors from the international community in the Rakhine State,” she said in her third proposal.
The Prime Minister in her last proposal said the international community must ensure that the root causes of Rohingya problem area addressed and the violation of human rights and other atrocity crimes committed against the Rohingyas are accounted for.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned that in the past, she had offered a five-point proposal to the United Nations during the 72nd UN General Assembly to put an end to the Rohingya crisis.
“The proposals included full implementation of recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission, and establishment of civilian monitored safe zone in the Rakhine State,” she said.
Requesting the international community to understand the un-tenability of the situation, the premier said the crisis is now going beyond the camps.
“Despite our all efforts to contain it, the crisis is now becoming a regional threat. Moreover, increasing congestion and environmental degradation is challenging health and security in the area,” she said.
Expressing her disappointment over the Rohingya crisis, the prime minister said, “It is indeed unfortunate that I have to again raise this issue in this august body as the Rohingya crisis remains unresolved. We continue to host 1.1 million Rohingya who was forced to leave Myanmar due to atrocities committed against them.”
Sheikh Hasina said the crisis is now lingering into the third year; yet not a single Rohingya could return to Myanmar due to absence of safety and security, freedom of movement and overall conducive environment in Rakhine State of Myanmar.
Terming the Rohingya issue as a matter of Myanmar and its own people, the prime minister said, “We are bearing the burden of a crisis which is Myanmar’s own making … it’s an issue solely between Myanmar and its own people, the Rohingyas. They themselves have to resolve it,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the voluntary return of the Rohingyas to their homes in the Rakhine state in safety, security and dignity is the only solution to the crisis.
“We’ll continue our engagement with Myanmar to make the repatriation of the Rohingyas to happen,” she added.
Apart from the Rohingya crisis, Sheikh Hasina, in her speech, also highlighted her government’s position on different global issues such as safe immigration, refugee crisis, climate change, SDGs and socioeconomic developments.
The prime minister reminded the international community that Bangalees endured an extreme form of genocide in 1971 while during the nine-month Liberation War against Pakistan, three million innocent people were killed and two hundred thousand women were violated by the Pakistani occupation forces and their local collaborators.
“Our painful experiences have emboldened us to continue to speak for the oppressed people. We stand firm in our support for our Palestinian brothers and sisters till their just and rightful struggle comes to fruition,” she continued.