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The right to return

  • Published at 11:20 pm June 10th, 2019
Photo: Mahmud Hossain Opu

We cannot let Myanmar have its way

It is disheartening to see that Myanmar, despite signing an agreement to take back the over one million Rohingya now residing in Bangladesh, is still unwilling to take any steps to ensure that this becomes a reality.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new.

From the get-go, Myanmar has played games with us and the Rohingya who have fled persecution, reneging on promises, filibustering the repatriation process, and even making threats to the Rohingya residing in the no man’s land between Bangladesh and Myanmar.

All of this adds up to a singular truth echoed by the prime minister: Myanmar is reluctant to take the Rohingya back. 

In fact, it has become evident that, for Myanmar to truly ensure the repatriation process, the world needs to act and we commend the prime minister for doing everything in her power to ensure that justice is served to the Rohingya population.

In this regard, we cannot let Myanmar have its way. The Rohingya have repeatedly been called the most persecuted community in the contemporary era and not without reason: They have suffered violence, death, rape, and arson at the hands of the Myanmar army, and they deserve to return to their homeland.

This requires the international community to put pressure on Myanmar to live up to the most basic humanitarian values and allow the Rohingya to return as citizens to their homeland, with their rights fully restored. 

Bangladesh has already gone beyond the call of duty to ensure that the Rohingya have been provided for. Now it is high time that the international community does what is necessary to ensure the safe repatriation of the Rohingya people.