Thursday, 9 December, 2021

Myanmar must take back Rohingyas

Myanmar must take back Rohingyas

Bangladesh gave temporary shelter to more than one million Rohingyas who are citizens of Myanmar and have been forced out their motherland by the genocidal regime of that country. Had not Bangladesh opened its door to these persecuted persons at a very critical moment, a true humanitarian crisis would have taken place leading to hunger and deaths of more of the unfortunate people. The global community highly appreciated this act of benevolence and showered praised on Bangladesh and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for this.

It is an unalterable fact that Rohingyas are Myanmar citizens and Myanmar is the proper place for them to live in. Rohingyas must go back to their ancestral homes; and the sooner their repatriation to their motherland is, the better for the world’s most persecuted persons and regional peace and security. The Myanmar government also promised to take its citizens back and signed necessary agreement with Bangladesh.

But instead of preparing the ground for quick repatriation and rehabilitation of the Rohingyas, the Myanmar government is following a dilly-dallying policy. Three years have passed since the Rohingya influx but no headway could so far be made for their going back home due absolutely to the stubbornness of the Myanmar authorities.

Stay of these huge foreign nationals over such a long period exerts a tremendous pressure on Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is right to say that Rohingyas and the stranded Pakistanis put a pressure on the country’s economy and as such are a heavy burden on us. Moreover, Rohingyas are destroying the environment and forest resources in the areas where they are sheltered. Why should Bangladesh bear the burden of so many foreign nationals over an endless period?

World opinion is in favour of quick repatriation of the Myanmar citizens. This is also reflected in the realisation of the newly appointed Ambassador of the Netherlands to Bangladesh that the solution to the crisis is rooted in sending back the Rohingyas to their native land Myanmar. While such a stance is encouraging but it is very much saddening to note that the international community is not exerting adequate pressure on Myanmar to compel it take back its citizens. We ask the world forces to play a more proactive role for the quickest possible repatriation of the Rohingyas.