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China optimistic in solving problems in Rakhine state

  • Published at 10:47 pm September 16th, 2019
web-rohingya camp
Chinese envoy visit the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar on Monday, September 16, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

Chinese high officials offered two specific proposals which Rohingya representatives have agreed with

Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming said in a statement that China is optimistic about resolving the underlying root causes of the problem involving the ethnic muslim minority Rohingya population in Myanmar's Rakhine state. 

To help resolve the matter, China will do whatever is necessary, said the ambassador. The Chinese envoy made the statement on Monday while visiting the Rohingya refugee camps on the second day of his tour in Cox's Bazar.

"I am new to Bangladesh. We are holding talks with officials of the Bangladesh government and Rohingya refugees and are trying to understand the problem. A quick and effective resolution is possible to help resolve the situation," said Li Jiming. 

An eight-member Chinese delegation, led by Chinese ambassador Li Jiming, yesterday visited Rohingya camps at Shalbagan in Teqnaf. During their visit, the Chinese delegation held talks with Rohingya people. 

They later took a tour of the Nayapara's Machoni camp. As many as 20 Rohingya men and women, including the leaders representing the ethnic  community, exchanged views with the Chinese officials. 

During the meeting, the Chinese delegation reassured the Rohingya refugees to their help facilitate the smooth and safe repatriation.  Rohingya refugees have repeatedly  been requested to go back to their homeland by the Chinese team.

When asked about the meeting, Rohingya leaders Gura Mia and Mohammad Jasim said that the Chinese delegation have listened to their  demands and in return ambassador Li Jiming offered refugees two very specific proposals.

Firstly - two mobile phone hand-sets will be given to each of the members of a Rohingya team. During their repatriation process and return travelling to Myanmar, each Rohingya person will carry one mobile hand-set and leave the other one with his/her family in the camps in Cox's Bazar. 

If Rohingya people determine that the situation is favourable in Rakhine state, they would call their families in Cox's Bazar to return to their homeland. 

Second proposal stipulates that the another Rohingya group would take a tour to their home in Rakhine state, and see for themselves the situation there. If they realize a better situation in Rakhine state, they would come back and take their families back to Myanmar.

In a quick reaction to the proposals, Rohingya representatives have agreed and expressed their willingness.

Earlier in the morning, the Chinese ambassador also visited Teknaf's Keruntali transit port.  

Earlier on Sunday, the Chinese delegation visited the Rohingyas stranded in the no man's land between Bangladesh and Myanmar in Ghumdhum of Bandarban’s Naikhongchari upazila. 

The delegation exchanged views with the Rohingyas around 1pm when the refugees said they will return home, on condition of being granted Myanmar citizenship.

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Shamsuddouja Nayan, additional commissioner to the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commssion, said that the Bangladesh authorities have taken all out preparation for Rohingya repatriation.

Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas, most of whom entered the country after August 25, 2017.

On Aug 22, a second attempt to start repatriating Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar failed. Not a single refugee showed up. Preparations had been poor, and despite the UN's view that the conditions for voluntary returns were not in place, Bangladesh, Myanmar and China pressed to go ahead.

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