• Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:15 pm

The first step

  • Published at 12:04 am July 29th, 2019
Rohingya
Photo: MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

It must be ensured that the Rohingya will be safe from any sort of harm or persecution

At last. After almost two years, the international community is waking up to the reality of the persecution of the Rohingya population, with the US, Australia, and the EU recognizing the brutality with which the Rohingya were chased out of their own homes in Rakhine. 

This has come about through necessary sanctions being placed against Myanmar army officials, who had been instrumental in the country’s systematic ethnic cleansing operations, and will serve as a necessary step towards ensuring that the Rohingya can finally return to their homes. 

In addition, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad’s recent words -- in which he asked for the Rohingya to be treated “as Myanmar nationals” -- are encouraging, to say the least, and we hope paves the way for further dialogue. 

This is exactly what the recently concluded meeting between the Myanmar delegation and Rohingya officials concluded with: A plan for dialogue, one which could potentially pave the way towards a solution to this ongoing crisis. 

However, while dialogue is appreciated, it is only the first amongst many steps that must take place.

For one, there can be no denying the fact that, if there’s to be any progress, Myanmar has to turn their words into action, and it must be ensured that the Rohingya will be safe from any sort of harm or persecution. 

Moreover, as Mahathir has said, the Rohingya must be made full citizens wherever they go, and Myanmar must ensure this fact by allowing international organizations and journalists to assess the situation in Rakhine transparently. 

Unless and until that assurance is delivered, and Myanmar changes its ways, there can be no solution to what is becoming an untenable crisis. 

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