Myanmar not out of ICJ, ICC jurisdiction: Shahriar
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam has said the Myanmar government is not out of the jurisdiction of International Court of Justice (ICJ) and International Criminal Court (ICC).
"Gambia, on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, filed a case with the ICJ, accusing Myanmar of genocide in its treatment of the Rohingyas. The international community is building pressure on Myanmar, the global leaders being vocal about the Rohingya issue is a significant advancement", Shahriar said.
He was speaking as the chief guest at a roundtable on 'Rohingya Repatriation' jointly arranged by the Institute of Conflict, Law and Development Studies (ICLDS) and 'Bhorer Kagoj' at Jatiya Press Club on Monday.
Brigadier General (retd) M Sakhawat Hossain, former ambassadors Mohammad Zamir and Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, among others, took part in the roundtable moderated by Daily Bhorer Kagaj Editor Shyamal
Dutta. Government officials, ex-diplomats and media figures also discussed different aspects of Rohingya influx in Cox's Bazar and the solutions to the crisis.
"Not a single Rohingya was repatriated over the last two years due to Myanmar's "failure" to build confidence in Rohingyas and lack of environment conducive in Rakhine State. Bangladesh has so far handed over names of over 1 lakh Rohingyas to the Myanmar authorities for verification and subsequently expediting their repatriation efforts, but Myanmar is yet to take back its nationals from Bangladesh", the State Minister said.
He said more than 7,00,000 mainly-Muslim Rohingyas were forced to flee to Bangladesh after Myanmar launched a brutal offensive targeting the ethnic minority in late August 2017. Nay Pyi Taw has been accused of carrying out human rights abuse during what it described as counterinsurgency operations.
The International Court of Justice settles disputes between nations, while The International Criminal Court seeks to convict individuals responsible for crimes, both courts are based in The Hague, the Netherlands-based court has no jurisdiction over its actions.
Taking part in the discussion Brigadier General (retd) M Sakhawat Hossain laid emphasis on serious efforts from China and India and other friends of Myanmar to resolve the Rohingya crisis, otherwise they see Bangladesh in a "big trouble" within next 10 years.
"Laid emphasis on continuing pressure on Myanmar to take back Rohingyas as the "time - bomb (Rohingya)" may explode anytime affecting Bangladesh and beyond," he remarked.
"We do not see any solution in 1-10 years until the United Nations (UN) imposes force as Myanmar is not willing to take back Rohingyas with a possibility of creating another Eastern Palestine here", he added.
The speakers said it is a national crisis and Bangladesh will be in big trouble if they cannot solve it.
"We observed that the international community has understand the gravity of the problem and they have give us assurances that they will play positive role in this regard, You wouldn't expect Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to strongly condemn Myanmar government for its misdeeds in public but that's what happened within the past few weeks," the State Minister said.
Mentioning the initial period of the Rohingya crisis, the State minister said "after the end of the first year of influx, we kept wondering if we'd be able to keep the Rohingya issue alive at international level ... Many states have a conflicting stance about the Rohingyas," he added.
He noted the struggle of locals of Ukhiya and surrounding upazilas of Cox's Bazar.
"Upazilas accommodating Rohingyas are receiving much better facilities than other areas of the district if you put it on average," he said.
The state minister said the law enforcement agencies will be working at their fullest capacity to maintain law and order.
"The efficiency and speed of law enforcement agencies working in Cox's Bazar have been increased rapidly over the past five or six months. It'll be increased further," he said.
He hoped that people of the country will support the foreign policy of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in dealing with such a sensitive issue like Rohingya Crisis.