Bangladesh wants to start the initial transfer of Rohingyas to Bhasan Char Island after monsoon through conducting a “go-and-see” visit program first.
“We’ll soon conduct a go-and-see visit [program]. We expect to commence initial transfer of Rohingyas after the monsoon,” said Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen.
He said around 306 Rohingyas rescued in the Bay of Bengal recently and took shelter in Bhasan Char are doing well.
The Foreign Secretary said the UN team may also visit and the government can arrange more visits for the human rights workers and media people.
The government has invested a lot for infrastructure development in the island to accommodate 1 lakh Rohingyas there.
Momen highlighted the lack of a conducive environment in Myanmar and two failed repatriation attempts as Rohingyas are not feeling comfortable with the environment in Rakhine.
He urged countries to convince Myanmar to bring changes in Rakhine and implement the repatriation arrangements.
The Foreign Secretary was addressing a webinar titled “The Rohingya Crisis: Western, Asian, and Bilateral Perspectives” organized by the Center for Peace Studies (CPS) of South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance (SIPG), North South University, Bangladesh in partnership with the High Commission of Canada to Bangladesh.
It dealt with some of the key issues related to bilateral, multilateral, and regional relations.
The purpose of this event was to generate ideas and share opinions and perspectives with the hope of finding a solution to the Rohingya crisis.
Dr. Syed Hamid Albar, former Foreign Minister of Malaysia, Earl R. Miller, US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Md. Shahidul Haque, Senior Fellow, South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance (SIPG), NSU, Benoit Préfontaine, High Commissioner of Canada to Bangladesh also spoke at the event.
Myanmar has not taken a single Rohingya back till today despite the crisis enters the fourth year within a couple of days amid “lack of conducive conditions” in Rakhine required for a safe and sustainable return of Rohingyas, officials said.
In August 2017, the military launched a campaign of mass atrocities against the Rohingya that forced over 740,000 to flee to Bangladesh.
The 600,000 Rohingya who remain in Rakhine State are essentially confined to camps and villages, said the Human Rights Watch (HRW).
They remain without citizenship or the ability to vote this November.
Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, will be a candidate in the November general election.
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered the country since August 25, 2017. Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation deal on November 23, 2017.
On January 16, 2018 Bangladesh and Myanmar inked a document on “Physical Arrangement”, which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland.
The “Physical Arrangement” stipulated that the repatriation would be completed preferably within two years from the start.
Attempts to send back the Rohingyas to their place of origin failed twice. Despite all the preparations, no Rohingya turned up to accept the “voluntary” repatriation offer, prompting authorities to suspend the process. Source: UNB