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Rohingya leaders: Meet our demands, we’ll go home

  • Published at 01:10 am August 23rd, 2019
Rohingya leaders-Syed Zakir Hossain
FIle photo: Rohingya leaders stressed their demands during protests at different spots inside Camp No 26 at Teknaf’s Shalbagan in Cox’s Bazar on Thursday Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Pointing out safety of their lives as the second most priority, they said will not go back to their homeland until their security is guaranteed over there

Playing a major role behind the failure of the second repatriation attempt on Thursday, a group of Rohingya leaders said they will return home only after the Myanmar government met their five demands, of which citizenship is top priority.

Pointing out safety of their lives as the second most priority, they said will not go back to their homeland until their security is guaranteed over there.

They stressed their demands during protests at different spots inside Camp No 26 at Teknaf’s Shalbagan in Cox’s Bazar.

They also demanded restoration of their homes, lands and assets, trial of those who carried out the atrocities on the Rohingyas and rehabilitations of those living in the camps of internally displaced people (IDP) in Myanmar.

Under the banner of Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPHR), a group of Rohingya leaders, including a number head majhis, held a press briefing at the camp’s Block E where they made the demands.

Addressing the briefing, ARSPHC Secretary Syed Ullah, who himself lives in the Jamtoli camp, claimed that they represented some 95% Rohingyas who currently live at Camps No 24, 26 and 27.


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He said they would not return unless they were given Myanmar citizenship with equal rights and their security was ensured under the international arrangement.

He also demanded that Myanmar authorities must guarantee return of the lands that belonged to the Rohingyas once repatriated, and try those responsible for the atrocities that forced more than 700,000 Rohingyas to flee from Rakhine state to Cox’s Bazar since August 25, 2017.

Rohingya leader Md Ibrahim said: “Why would we get back to Myanmar if they continue to ignore our demands we have been making for a long time?

“If all our conditions are met immediately, we are ready to go back to Myanmar right away.”

At another gathering near the camp-in-charge’s office, several Rohingya other leaders appeared with written demands.

Recounting the horror that they faced in 2017, protester Abdul Karim wondered why they would risk their life again if not given guarantee of security.

He said: “They killed our relatives, raped many women and destroyed our properties. Who’s to say they won’t do that again after we return to Rakhine?”