Myanmar delegation visits Rohingya camps


COX’S BAZAR, July 28, 2019 (BSS) – The visiting Myanmar delegation today visited the Rohingya camps and said they tried to motivate Rohingyas here to return to Rakhine and they would continue their efforts in future.

“We listened to their demand and we will come here again to continue the talks,” Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs Myint Thu, who is leading the 19-member delegation, told newspersons after a meeting with Rohingya leaders at Kutupalong camp, Ukhiya.

He said the Myanmar government had adopted three policies for starting the repatriation process. “One of these is to talk with the displaced Rohingyas for encouraging them go back (to Myanmar),” he added.

The Myanmar foreign secretary said he will hold a meeting with Bangladesh foreign secretary to discuss the Rohingya repatriation process in Dhaka.

He said Myanmar will also continue dialogue with ASEAN member states to resolve the crisis.

Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights chairman M Muhib Ullah led a 30-member Rohingya delegation were at the meeting held at Kutupalong Camp-4 here where a five-member ASEAN delegation was also present.

After the meeting, Muhib told journalists that they placed their demands to the Myanmar team which includes ensuring citizenship rights and freedom of movement after repatriation.

However, he said no assurance in this regard came from the Myanmar team. “No Rohingya will go back to Rakhine unless they got Myanmar citizenship,” Muhib said.

Later, the Myanmar and ASEAN delegations held meeting with Hindu Rohingya leaders at D-5 camp.

On Saturday, the delegations arrived in Cox’s Bazar and held a meeting with government officials.

They also talked to a group of seven Rohingya women and 28 men, yesterday.

The visit of the Myanmar delegation is aimed to assure the Rohingyas that the Myanmar government wants to take them back.

About 1.1 million Rohingyas fled Myanmar into Bangladesh following alleged mass murder, rape and other atrocities in Rakhine since August 2017. The displaced Rohingyas are now living in 30 camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar district.

Myanmar agreed to take back the Rohingyas under a bilateral agreement with Bangladesh. But, the deal did not progress much as there was little tangible action from the Myanmar side and refusal of the displaced persons to go back amid uncertainty and insecurity.