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Rohingya diaspora needs leadership, single voice to strengthen world opinion

  • Published at 12:09 am August 27th, 2020
web-the rohingya
File photo: Rohingya refugees attend a ceremony organised to remember the second anniversary of a military crackdown that prompted a massive exodus of people from Myanmar to Bangladesh, at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia on August 25, 2019 AFP

Solution to the protracted crisis is a long journey, and pressure must continue on Myanmar and its friends, speakers say on the concluding day of a two-day virtual conference on Rohingya diaspora and displacement

The Rohingya diaspora spread across different countries lacks leadership and organizational capabilities with respect to making their voice heard louder across the world, speakers said at a virtual conference on Wednesday.

Overcoming these limitations is required to press their demand, which is to ensure safe and dignified return to their original homes in Rakhine state of Myanmar, they said on the concluding day of the two-day event.

The speakers reminded that any solution to the protracted crisis is a long journey, and placed great emphasis on continued pressure on Myanmar and its allies in a well-coordinated way.

The Centre for Genocide Studies of Dhaka University, the Centre for Peace and Justice of Brac University, and ActionAid Bangladesh jointly organized the “International e-Conference on Connecting the Rohingya Diaspora: Highlighting the Global Displacement.” 

Also Read- Foreign Secy: Myanmar’s reluctance a major obstacle for Rohingya repatriation

Experts, scholars, researchers, human rights activists, and members of the Rohingya diaspora participated in the conference from different corners of the world.

It is a very complex issue that requires a clear strategy to find a solution, the participants acknowledged, adding that the Rohingya diaspora must work hard to strengthen the world opinion.

Systematic and institutionalized genocide has taken place in Myanmar and there must be accountability for the perpetrators, they said.

Also Read- Three years on, Rohingya repatriation still uncertain

The Rohingya diaspora was cautioned not to take the commitment made by the international community for granted, and urged to exercise perseverance until the final demand is met.  

Members of Rohingya diaspora from different countries narrated the plight of their people and blamed the international community for not doing enough to end the suffering of the community.

They also said that it would not be prudent to depend on the cases at the international courts, and that all other possible avenues would have to be explored to end the crisis.

Dhaka Declaration 2020

Meanwhile, “Dhaka Declaration 2020” was released upon the completion of the conference, demanding from the world community an unequivocal commitment to resolve the Rohingya refugee crisis in a sustainable manner and with a regional approach, recognizing the fact that Bangladesh is currently hosting over 1.2 million Rohingya refugees within its borders.

It called upon the United Nations and all members of the international community to use diplomatic channels to provide sufficient humanitarian assistance and other support to ensure protection and rights of all Rohingya people and other vulnerable groups.

The declaration recognized that the Rohingya have a right to return to their homeland, and called upon the international community to ensure their voluntary, dignified, informed and safe return to their original homes.

Also Read- Reforestation in Rohingya camps for 2020 season begins

It denounced all sorts of latent and manifest acts of genocide against the Rohingya ethnic minority of Myanmar, which forced them to leave their country and take refuge in countries across four continents.

The document condemned the apathy of the government of Myanmar, regional governments and the international community towards the Rohingya people, particularly the sufferings of Rohingya women and children in open seas.

It urged the government of Myanmar to take responsibility for the incidents and organize a transparent and accountable investigation of Rohingya displacement, while providing all the host countries as well as the Rohingya people proper monetary and legal compensation.

The declaration called to impress upon the allies of Myanmar, particularly the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), to take necessary steps to compel Myanmar to terminate the persecution of the Rohingya people once and for all.

It called upon governments, civil society, and multilateral agencies to create a multi-pronged participatory mechanism in order to address and bring resolution to the plight of the Rohingyas by putting pressure on Myanmar.

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