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‘Hollow Promises’: Bangladesh Home Minister Calls Myanmar Officials’ Upcoming Visit an Eyewash

File photo of Rohingya refugees. (Reuters)

File photo of Rohingya refugees. (Reuters)

The Myanmar government is sending a high-level delegation to Bangladesh to discuss with the displaced people the arrangements made for their repatriation and resettlement.

Kolkata: Amid growing differences between Bangladesh and Myanmar over the Rohingya issue, Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has expressed disappointment over the “hollow promises” made by Myanmar on the repatriation and resettlement of Rohingya Muslims.

Speaking to News18 over phone from Dhaka, Asaduzzaman Khan said Bangladesh cannot accommodate anymore immigrants from Myanmar. “Myanmar government has informed us that they are sending a team of diplomats to Bangladesh to hold talks on the Rohingya issue. I don’t know what else is left for discussion. It is unfortunate that the Myanmar government has failed to keep its commitment. Bangladesh will no longer be in a position to accommodate more people from Myanmar.”

Khan also accused the Myanmar government of merely sending diplomats for discussions and not taking any concrete actions to resolve the issue. “They (diplomats) want to check…they want to see. God knows what is left to check and see ( in refugee camps). Myanmar is only sending diplomats and doing nothing to resolve the issue. It is very disappointing. They are suggesting to the international community that they are keen to resolve the Rohingya issue but the ground reality shows that they are doing nothing. They are not committing anything for the repatriation of refugees. They are only sending diplomats and making hollow promises. It seems they are not serious about the crisis.”

The Myanmar government is sending a high-level delegation to Cox’s Bazar to discuss with the displaced people about the arrangements they have made for their repatriation and resettlement.

More than 740,000 Rohingya are staying at various camps at Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh after they were driven out of Myanmar’s Rakhine state during military crackdowns in 2016 and 2017. Bangladesh has already informed the UN Security Council that it will not accept any more Rohingya Muslims who flee from Myanmar.

The row between Myanmar and Bangladesh comes after Myanmar’s Ambassador Hau Do Suan told a General Assembly meeting that nearly 30,000 Rohingya had requested to return and out of that 13,200 have been verified as former residents of Myanmar and they can return to Rakhine anytime.

“We heard that some people in the list refused to return. This problem could not have happened had the Bangladesh side used the right forms for repatriation as agreed in the bilateral arrangement. On our part, we have made every necessary preparation for their reception, resettlement, protection and security, and for the livelihood of the returnees. We are confident that we can make the repatriation plan a success if we both act strictly in compliance with the agreements,” excerpts from Hau Do Suan’ statement reads.

The Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh, Hahidul Haque, had said that, “it is frustrating that nothing concrete has yet happened to ensure safe return of the Rohingya to Myanmar. The problem originates from Myanmar and is the result of decades-long State practices of deprivation, disenfranchisement and atrocities. Hence, its solution must be found in Myanmar by Myanmar.”

first published:July 26, 2019, 10:17 IST