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FM: Myanmar govt yet to fix date for delegation to visit Rakhine

  • Published at 07:13 pm September 11th, 2019
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen
File photo: Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen Focus Bangla

Myanmar blamed for failing to ensure the safe return of its own people

Minister of Foreign Affairs, AK Abdul Momen, has said that the government of Myanmar is yet to confirm the date to take the Ambassador of Bangladesh and representatives of other countries to show Myanmar’s preparations for taking back displaced Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh.

“For the first time, the government of Myanmar has agreed to take back the Rohingya people and to show their preparations in this regard,” the minister said, adding that they are yet to confirm the date of the visit. 

The minister said this, responding to a query following a seminar on SDG-3 at PKSF Bhaban in the city on Wednesday.

The minister, rejecting the Myanmar government's claim that Bangladesh has repeated failed in the repatriation process, blamed Myanmar for not ensuring its own people a safe return. 

One of the conditions for repatriation was that the Rohingya people will go willingly. “We won’t force anybody.” 

“So, it is the duty of the  Myanmar government to convince its own people in which it has failed and that has foiled the process,” he added. 

Citing the behavior of Bangalees during and after the Liberation War, the minister criticized the idea of securing accommodation before repatriation to Myanmar and said: “Like the people of Bangladesh, they also need to return to their homeland without thinking of accommodations.” 

Concerning [Myanmar] government built accomodations where the Rohingya were living previous to fleeing Myanmar, the minister said: “I heard it from you [media] but we believe that they might have arranged places for them to stay before taking them back.

“We won’t force them against their will but we want them to return as soon as possible.” 

Asked about shifting the Rohingya to Bhasanchar, he said that was a temporary arrangement, not a solution. 

Bhashanchar was considered as the camps [in Cox's Bazar] are densely populated and the government was in fear that some of the people might die from landslides during the monsoons, he added. 

“But the permanent solution is: they are people of Myanmar and they have to return to their country.”