Myanmar all newNew Myanmar
Burma and U.N. agree on repatriation of Rohingya
ANGKOK - Myanmar's administration on Thursday said it has signed an arrangement with the United Nations that would be a first move towards the possible repatriation of Rohingya Muslims to the state. Since August last year, some 700,000 Rohingya have escaped from the state of Rakhine in far west Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh, the most pressing humanity' s exit in a single age.
Rohingya, a Moslem ethnical group in Myanmar's Buddhist plural, escaped a co-ordinated army battle, violation and cremation drive of their communities, some United Nations officers said they could be tantamount to gender murder. Up to now, the United Nations has no free entrance to the Centre of Force in the North Rakhine State.
Bangladesh and Myanmar's bidirectional effort to return Rohingya has led to a symbolic number of repatriations. While the Rohingya see themselves as just one of many minority groups in Myanmar, most of them have been deprived of their nationality and are Stateless. Myanmar's administration has rejected wide-spread and persistent reports of the terrible acts of force perpetrated against the Rohingya by the country's armed and civil mobs.
In Myanmar on Thursday, the presidential bureau said it would set up an impartial committee of enquiry into breaches of fundamental freedoms following the Rohingya fighters' attack last August. These Rohingya insurgency roundups on policing and soldier stations catalysed the military's violent attack on Rohingyaivilians.
With Myanmar government continued denial of misconduct, it is not strange that most Bangladeshi refugees have little desire to come back to Rakhine. An Xchange Foundation poll on 23 May, which examines and records the phenomenon of anthropogenic immigration, found that 97.5 per cent of more than 1,700 Rohingya questioned in Bangladesh wanted to come back to Myanmar.
However, almost all respondents said that they would only return if they were granted Myanmar nationality, free mobility and religious liberty. The Myanmar authorities have given little evidence that they would be prepared to meet these fundamental requirements. Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have been progressively harassed in recent years because they could no longer go free, study or go to church as they pleased.
Circumstances in the Rohingya communities in Bangladesh, including the world's biggest individual camps of migrants, are appalling, and the monsoons, which are sinking, are only making things worse. According to the United Nations, about 200,000 Rohingya are living in weak accommodations that are endangered by mudslides and floods. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on Thursday was sceptical about the Bangladesh government's plans to take Rohingya migrants from the south-east Bangladesh to a huge sandbank in the Bay of Bengal.
"I don't really think it's real to think that the isle will be a solution," said George Okoth-Obbo, Deputy High Commissioner of the UNRSA, at a press briefing in Dhaka, Bangladesh's capitol. It is feared by those critical of the plans that any cyclones that hit Bangladesh - and there are many - could jeopardise the life of any Rohingya who has been compelled to stay on the currently unpopulated isle.