Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Myanmar offers to take back all Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh

US says Myanmar's denial of ethnic cleansing 'preposterous' ASEAN, UN roles key to resolving Myanmar refugee crisis: Surakiart
Doris Mccormick | 18 February, 2018, 18:10

United Nations refugee chief Filippo Grandi told the Security Council on Tuesday that conditions aren't right for Rohingya to voluntarily return because Myanmar hasn't addressed their exclusion and denial of rights. We have handed over the list of 8,032 Myanmar citizens of 1,673 families.

They were forced to move out after attacks in the northern Rakhine State in Myanmar which saw entire villages being burnt and hundreds killed.

Those Rohingya stuck on the strip of territory between the two countries have complained that Myanmar security forces have been throwing stones at them to force them to enter Bangladesh. "We discussed how would they repatriate these people".

"The Myanmar side cordially accepted the list, and they sought our help to make it happen", Khan said.

Many in Buddhist-majority Myanmar regard the Rohingya community as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

"Canada will not stand silently as crimes against humanity are committed against the Rohingya", she said in a statement. He said the government was involving the United Nations refugee agency so that it could not be accused of sending anyone from the stateless Muslim minority back against their will.

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Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan, secretaries concerned and senior civil and military officials were present there. New arrivals have brought harrowing tales of rape, murder and torture.

Former Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai told Kyodo News and the Bangkok Post in a joint interview Monday that a key obstacle to the repatriation of the Rohingya is the question of their safety after returning to Rakhine State from which they fled violence, even though Myanmar's government has conveyed a willingness to accept them. Their investigation, published by Reuters last week, includes admissions from ethnic Rakhine Buddhists that they had taken part in the killing of 10 Rohingya men in the village of Inn Din in Rakhine State. He urged Myanmar to ensure the refugees' return was "sustainable", adding the Rohingya "may face difficulties in resettling back into their land".

Myanmar ambassador to the UN Hau Do Suan said it had given Bangladesh a list of 508 Hindus and 750 Muslims "verified as Myanmar residents, to be included in the first batch of repatriation" and set up two reception centres and a transit camp to accommodate them before permanent resettlement. "They said they have started processing repatriation of those refugees living on the [border's] zero line", Khan said, adding Myanmar has "requested" a joint meeting on their repatriation on February 20.

The Council on Foreign Relations reports that "the Myanmar government has effectively institutionalized discrimination against the ethnic group through restrictions on marriage, family planning, employment, education, religious choice, and freedom of movement".

A video circulated on social media apparently shows Myanmar's Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Aung Soe addressing a group of refugees through a barbed wire fence last Friday.

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