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Responding to the call

  • Published at 06:56 pm December 5th, 2017
  • Last updated at 12:05 pm December 6th, 2017
Responding to the call
As a nation committed to fostering global peace and inclusion, Bangladesh has taken on the added responsibility of fighting for the humane treatment of the Rohingya upon their return to Rakhine. And any plan for repatriation needs to be carefully thought through, to make sure the refugees’ rights are being respected. Although China and India -- two powerful nations that could have made a significant impact on the negotiation process -- rather conspicuously chose not to put pressure on Myanmar, it is encouraging to know that 73 countries have backed Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia’s joint calls to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). With enough support, the UNHRC resolution could potentially ensure full citizenship for the Rohingya in Myanmar, reassuring the world that the returning Rohingya would not be going back to more oppression and persecution. If China and India could have put the universal and sacrosanct principles of human rights before geo-political interests, such a resolution would have been made possible much sooner. Russia, too, blocked proposals in favour of the Rohingya at the UN Security Council meetings, creating an impasse for months. One would hope that, by now, in the post-Arab Spring and post-Brexit world, the powerful leaders of the world would wise up to the fact that countries can no longer function in a vacuum nor insulate itself from the devastation happening in other parts of the world; that sooner or later, they, too, would have to face the pervasive effects of the havoc that they are allowing to be wreaked upon an innocent population. If we want peace to prevail, we cannot afford to neglect the tribulations of the persecuted masses.