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Rohingya Repatriation

BD, Myanmar, China to hold meeting today

Published : Monday, 18 January, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 447

Bangladesh, Myanmar and China will hold a tripartite virtual meeting today to discuss ways to expedite the Rohingya repatriation where Vice Minister of China Luo Zhaohui will take part in the discussion.
"Vice Minister of China Luo Zhaohui will virtually join the meeting from Beijing with Bangladesh and Myanmar delegations," Foreign Ministry said.
The first such meeting was held in New York. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was present at the meeting and proposed both Bangladesh and Myanmar to hold such meeting as soon as possible to expedite the repatriation process.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has conveyed to Bangladesh that Myanmar has recently assured them of taking back Rohingyas, who were forced to take temporary shelter in Bangladesh following a military crackdown in Rakhine state.
Wang Yi said China was maintaining regular communication with Myanmar over the Rohingya repatriation issue.
Myanmar assured China of working towards Rohingya repatriation
    once the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19 situation improved and the election (in Myanmar) was over.
This will be second such meeting, a senior official of the Foreign Ministry told the daily Observer on Sunday.
Over 800,000 Rohingyas fled the 'genocidal violence' and Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas.
Meanwhile, near about one lakh Rohingya children have been born at the different camps in last two and half years.  
"Bangladesh is trying in multiple ways - bilaterally, multilaterally, tri-laterally and through the judicial system - to find a lasting solution to the Rohingya crisis. "We are hopeful..lets see what happens," the official said.   
Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation deal on November 23, 2017. On January 16, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on 'Physical Arrangement', which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland.
As per Myanmar's requirement, in last two years Bangladesh has handed over a list of 8 lakh 40 thousand Rohingyas to Myanmar for verification.
"Myanmar has verified very few people. They're very slow. They verified only 42 thousand people. There's a serious lack of seriousness," Foreign Minister Dr. AK abdul Momen said.
Dr Momen said they were doing their part but Myanmar is not helping the same way.
He said he is always hopeful of beginning repatriation as history says they took back their nationals in 1978 and 1992.
More than three years ago, Myanmar's soldiers 'targeted, killed, and raped' Rohingyas and burned their villages, as the United Nations, Refugees International, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the U.S. State Department itself, and many others have documented.
"Bangladesh is hopeful about the meeting as China has a great influence on Myanmar's military and political people and a huge financial involvement. We see it as an opportunity as we want to explore all windows in this regard," a senior official said.
The repatriation issue has remained stopped for the last one year. Covid-19 pandemic and Myanmar general elections have slowed down the process.
However, the Foreign Minister said Bangladesh had handed over a list of 8.40 lakh Rohingyas to Myanmar for verification which is the part of the repatriation.
"Myanmar is a friendly country. They aren't our enemy. We've nothing against Myanmar. Myanmar must create conducive environment as Bangladesh wants to see the return of Rohingyas to Myanmar in safety and security," Dr Momen said.
Earlier, Bangladesh proposed deployment of non-military civilian observers from Myanmar's friendly countries - Japan, China, Russia, India and Asean countries.
"Myanmar did neither say yes or no on that particular proposal," said the Foreign Minister adding that Bangladesh also proposed visits of Rohingya leaders to Rakhine and Myanmar government officials' visit to Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar to interact with the Rohingays.
In the process, Dr Momen said, there should be confidence building and the main objective of Bangladesh is to see repatriation of Rohingyas.

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