Wednesday, January 24, 2018 | ePaper

Commentary

Myanmar is bluffing, yet we are not actively engaged internationally

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Editorial Desk :
Yesterday a news item published in some dailies that Myanmar Security Adviser met our Foreign Minister in New York and proposed a meeting with concerned officials of Bangladesh for finding a solution to on-going Rohingya crisis faced by Bangladesh. This was not disclosed by our Foreign Ministry source.
Myanmar government is not seeking a solution to the  
crisis by discussing with Bangladesh. But Bangladesh government is helplessly expecting that bilateral discussion will solve the problem. Our government seems not to have any idea of the nature of the determination of Myanmar government. We have no diplomatic activities other than waiting for what the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has to tell us and to wait when India and China will come on our side. This emptiness of politics is undermining the ability of this nation.  
Myanmar's de facto leader and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has reiterated her readiness to start the verification process for the return of some Rohingya refugees at "any time." In a wide-ranging interview with the Japan based Nikkei Asian Review, she said she would "find out more" about forces that triggered the exodus of more than 410,000 mainly stateless Rohingya people into Bangladesh. In the interview, Suu Kyi addressed various issues including her willingness to facilitate the return of refugees to Myanmar if they so wished.
Despite her offer to facilitate visits by Myanmar's diplomatic community to affected areas of northern Rakhine, she again ruled out allowing into the country the fact finding mission proposed earlier this year by the UN Human Rights Council.
She further stated that the repatriation of refugees could start at any time and that it would depend upon the Bangladesh government's willingness to start the process as the criteria was set down by both governments in 1993. She appeared to contradict her earlier claim that fifty percent of villages were intact by saying that 30 percent of villages were intact before stating that 50 percent were normal.
The exodus was triggered by the military's ferocious response to attacks by a Rohingya militant group on more than 30 police and military facilities on Aug 25. Since then, former supporters -- including government leaders, international organizations and the United Nations -- have accused Suu Kyi of presiding over ethnic cleansing policies, while critics have claimed she is indifferent or unwilling to halt the military's campaign.
Asked about her claim in her Sept 19 speech that military operations had ceased in northern Rakhine from Sept 5, despite mass movement of refugees in the weeks since, she said her government needed to find out more about the circumstances behind the continuing outflow of refugees and the burning of villages.
However the Bangladesh government has yet to receive any formal claims of repatriation by the Myanmar government. So the question is when would the process start--and furthermore why would it be prone to a set of criteria which were apparently established over twenty years ago? How can Myanmar accept or deny that the Rohingyas are its own citizens when they aren't even acknowledged as such by the Myanmarese government? Also they are not allowed to have their own identity cards so how would Myanmar know who was what and lived where--anyone could claim to be anyone else as the government only has lists and nothing else.
It is of no use blaming Ms Suu Kyi, because she has no power, but she is lying for the army, the real government in Myanmar. She has disgraced herself for misrepresenting facts about her army's genocide against the Rohingya Muslims.
We are living in a fool's paradise in not taking advantage of the international condemnation of the cleansing in Myanmar and not getting involved in active diplomacy internationally.
Myanmar is talking in military language, and we are not seeking of military cooperation needed even for facing Myanmar to solve the crisis peacefully. 

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