JWG Meets In Dhaka Oct 28
BD to place new proposals for Rohingya repatriation
Published : Friday, 12 October, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 625
The Joint Working Group (JWG) on Rohingya repatriation will sit in Dhaka on October 28 to review progress in its job.
"The team is coming on the 28th of this month. Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque and his Myanmar counterpart Myint Thu are expected to lead their respective teams in the two-day high level meeting," a senior official of the Foreign Ministry told the Daily Observer.
Bangladesh and Myanmar formed the Joint Working Group (JWG) on December 2017 to start repatriating Rohingya refugees by January 23, 2018. However, it failed to complete the primary task to define the "Citizenship" criteria in the last few months.
"This time, we will place fresh proposals and Bangladesh's demand for early repatriation of over one million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals as well as implementation of the Kofi Annan Commission's recommendations to resolve the Rohingya crisis," official said.
"The third JWG meeting will review progress in preparations for Rohingya repatriation, verification process, and the measures taken by the Myanmar government to restore harmony among communities," he added.
Earlier, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and his Myanmar counterpart Myint Thu signed the terms of references (ToR) and mandates. The other members of the team include representatives from the Prime Minister's Office, Disaster Management Ministry, Home Affairs Ministry, Armed Forces Division, Border Guard Bangladesh, Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, National Security Intelligence, Department of Immigration and Passport and several other departments of the government.
Earlier, Bangladesh had handed over a list of 1,673 Rohingya families (8,032 individuals) to Myanmar to start the first phase of repatriation of the displaced people to their homeland in Rakhine state, but Myanmar side did not accept the list as Rohingya are denied citizenship and classified as illegal immigrants, despite claiming roots in Myanmar that go back centuries, with communities marginalized and subjected to bouts of communal violence over the years.
Myanmar said that it was ready to start a verification process under a 1993 agreement with Bangladesh. It said the refugees from this country (Myanmar) will be accepted without any problem, but there is no progress, according to the Foreign Ministry.
"The bilateral talks come as Dhaka mounts a huge diplomatic effort to find a permanent solution to the Rohingya problem and make Myanmar take back all the refugees to their homeland in Rakhine," another official said.
During the meeting, the JWC will visit the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar to see the situation on ground. It will also discuss the progress and process to make a data base on Rohingya people, he added.
This time we will hand over a new citizenship list, he further said.
"Refugees are gloomy about the prospects of going back, fearing they will not be able to furnish the documents they anticipate Myanmar will demand to prove they have a right to return," Foreign Ministry's official said.