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Rohingya organization thanks PM, demands pressure on Myanmar

  • Published at 03:06 pm June 19th, 2019
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File photo: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addresses the nation at a press conference at her official residence Ganabhaban on Sunday, June 9, 2019 Focus Bangla

The Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights announced this on Tuesday

A Rohingya refugee group based in a Cox’s Bazar camp, on Tuesday, thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her comments on Myanmar's government’s negligence in taking Rohingyas back. 

On June 9, upon returning from her foreign tour, the prime minister said: “The Myanmar government has not done enough to prove they are ready to accept Rohingyas returning home.” 

The group, the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH), also demanded the international community put pressure on Myanmar to make Rakhine safe for Rohingyas. 

They thanked Sheikh Hasina for sheltering 1.1 million Rohingyas.

In a statement, ARSPH mentioned that it wrote a letter to the prime minister saying they do not want to stay in Bangladesh for long. 

“The international community has lost its focus and is too distracted by humanitarian issues in the refugee camps,” said the statement, adding that they did not think that enough pressure is being put on the Myanmar leaders to make the repatriation process possible.

“We keep hearing them say that Rohingya refugees will be in Bangladesh [for] a very long time. This is not what we want. Bangladesh is not our home. We do not want to stay in refugee camps in Bangladesh forever,” the statement added.

The statement continued that the reluctance of the Myanmar government to take responsibility for Rohingyas' safe return is barring them from returning to their homes in Rakhine.

“We think it is because the international community does not really care about what Rohingya refugees want. They are not really listening to us,” ASPHR said.

“We know this is not an easy situation for Rohingya refugees and host communities [in Cox’s Bazar]. This situation is not sustainable,” the statement said.

ASPHR said they want to work together with the government for safe and dignified repatriation.

Meanwhile, the United Nations experienced "systemic failures" in its handling of the situation in Myanmar leading up to the 2017 mass exodus of Rohingya, a UN report said on Monday.

The finding came after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in February, ordered the internal review of the world body's operations in Myanmar after its officials in the country were accused of ignoring warning signs of the attacks against the Rohingya, a Muslim minority.

Around 1.1 million Rohingyas are living in camps in Bangladesh after fleeing Myanmar's northern Rakhine state during a 2017 military campaign the UN has described as ethnic cleansing.