Monday, June 17, 2019 | ePaper

Moscow-Beijing combined support to pressurise Myanmar vital

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Bangladesh has urged the international community to ramp up pressure on Myanmar so that it creates a congenial environment for the earliest repatriation of displaced Rohingyas with safety and dignity. After briefing diplomats stationed in Dhaka on Wednesday, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said Bangladesh clarified its position about the matter. Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.2 million Rohingyas. Most of them came here after the Myanmar military launched a brutal offensive in the pretext of a 'clearance operation' on August 25, 2017.
FM said Bangladesh strongly protested the fabricated remarks and disinformation spread by Myanmar officials. He presented relevant facts and arguments to invalidate Myanmar's allegations and also to expose Nay Pyi Taw's disrespect to its obligations and commitments. Momen also mentioned the decision of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to move the International Court of Justice for establishing the legal rights of Rohingyas and addressing the question of accountability and justice. He said the OIC member states at a recent meeting in Saudi Arabia spontaneously agreed to bear the expenses in this regard on voluntary basis. The minister sought comprehensive engagements and decisive actions from the international community for the earliest repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingya population and their reintegration in Myanmar with safety and dignity.
The main problem here is that as long as China and Russia support Myanmar at the UN Security Council and use their veto powers no other nation in the world--even the US, can apply pressure of any significant consequence towards them. All that the US, the EU and the Western bloc nations like Canada and Australia can do is apply sanctions individually and organisationally.
But we have seen that applying sanctions has had no effect. The Tatmadaw knows that China's economic interests align with Myanmar. Russia, on the other hand, will do anything to spite the West. So no meaningful action can be taken by the UN unless we get these two giants on the table. And since they have not do so in the past, it seems a bit rosy to think that they would do so now. Myanmar will continue to play a game of snakes and ladders to ensure that not even one Rohingya can manage to enter Myanmar  from Bangladesh.

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