Bangladesh is looking for support from the international community in resolving the long-standing Rohingya crisis. During the 76th session of the United Nations, we do believe, Rohingya issue will be discussed by all the member nations and a unanimous decision will be adopted in exerting maximum pressure on Myanmar in immediately beginning the process of repatriation of Rohingyas. Writes Nazmul Haq Shamal
Since August 2016, Bangladesh has been enduring the extreme burden of hosting 1.20 million Rohingyas in the country, who were forced to flee Myanmar due to cruel genocide perpetrated by Burmese military junta. Despite repeated promises of taking back the Rohingyas from Bangladesh, Myanmar authorities have been playing numerous forms of deceptive tactics in delaying the process.
The Rohingyas is Bangladesh are not only causing tremendous economic burden, it also is creating numerous forms of socio-environmental problems. International community has miserably failed in doing anything effective in compelling Myanmar authorities in taking back Rohingyas. Instead, World Bank in a recent report has suggested Bangladesh to integrate the 1.20 million Rohingyas into Bangladesh society, meaning, they are asking Bangladesh to ultimately absorb the Rohingyas as our citizen. Such recommendations from World Bank not only is impractical and ridiculous, it also is an evil attempt of pushing Bangladesh towards further and deeper crisis on the Rohingya issue.
Four years ago, in late August 2017, “breaking news” across the world were dominated by the massive influx of Rohingyas to Bangladesh, a result of military-backed bloody “clearance operation”. A 444-page report of the UN’s Independent Fact-Finding Commission substantiated that more than 7,25,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh after this deadly crackdown. The degree of atrocities of this “campaign of terror” embarked on by the military was so intense that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights referred to it as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” while other investigators dubbed it as “genocide”.
In the first three weeks of August 2017, Bangladesh received more refugees than entire Europe did in 2016 during “Syrian crisis”. Since then, Bangladesh has been generously hosting more than 1.20 million Rohingyas as short-term guests ensuring “safe haven” on humanitarian grounds.
It is important to mention here that, Rohingyas, living in Arakan for thousand years, have been actively involved in Burma’s politics since independence. The recognition of Rohingya as Myanmar’s citizens by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) resolves their identity crisis by providing a legal base. Besides, in the hearing of ICJ, Aung San Suu Kyi defined Rohingyas as Arakan’s Muslims.
Myanmar signed two repatriation agreements with Bangladesh in 2018 and 2019 respectively giving consent to take back their citizens. Although these repatriation agreements were in vain due to reluctance of Myanmar, still these agreements are significant proof of Myanmar’s official stance on Rohingyas’ citizenship. Though there is no light at the end of the tunnel, still Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights, in response to the WB’s framework, stated in point blank that they have no desire to receive Bangladeshi citizenship and would like to return to Myanmar.
This ridiculous recommendation of the World Bank reminds us of its conspiracy that it played centering the Padma Bridge project. As we remember, at that time, World Bank was biased by several unscrupulous individuals including a controversial editor of a daily newspaper and his cohort – the scandalous Nobel Peace Prize winner. By obstructing Bangladesh’s loan proposal, those conspirators thought they can sabotage the Padma Bridge project. But it wasn’t. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has implemented this multi-billion-dollar project with our own funding, thus proving, under her magnanimous leadership, Bangladesh’s progress and prosperity can never be obstructed by any evil forces.
Bangladesh is looking for support from the international community in resolving the long-standing Rohingya crisis. During the 76th session of the United Nations, we do believe, Rohingya issue will be discussed by all the member nations and a unanimous decision will be adopted in exerting maximum pressure on Myanmar in immediately beginning the process of repatriation of Rohingyas. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been repeatedly calling upon the international community as well as the member countries of the United Nations seeking their wholehearted support in resolving the Rohingya crisis.
Nazmul Haq Shamal is the editor of the Dainik Notun Shomoy