• Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019
  • Last Update : 01:19 am

Myanmar must listen

  • Published at 12:03 am November 5th, 2019
Rohingya camp
Photo: MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Such blatant discrimination is wholly archaic for any modern nation

Despite multiple attempts by Bangladesh and the international community, Myanmar has remained passive about ensuring that the repatriation process for the Rohingya can actually begin.

A commendable plea was made by the UN Secretary-General to the Myanmar government recently, in which he requested the state to ensure that the voluntary return of the Rohingya becomes a reality.

While international pressure on Myanmar has ramped up in the last year or so, it is nonetheless unfortunate that Myanmar has so far done little to make the process any easier.

The Rohingya have faced persecution of unimaginable proportions when they were in Myanmar, with their houses burned and their families executed, and the onus remains on Myanmar to ensure that this no longer remains the case.

It’s unfortunate, though, that Myanmar is unwilling to end this humanitarian crisis once and for all, offering the Rohingya a bureaucratic status below full citizenship and continuing to bar journalists and aid workers from investigating.

With such an attitude, how can we expect the Rohingya to voluntarily return to their homeland, knowing that they will once again become a sub-standard community of people without their rights fully recognized by their own country and government?

It is unacceptable on the part of Myanmar to continue to take a stance which fails to recognize the human rights of their own people -- opting instead to treat them as inferior to the majority population.

Such blatant discrimination is wholly archaic for any modern nation to adopt as policy, and it behooves the international community to finally step in and show Myanmar the error of their ways.

Myanmar, the individuals responsible for the continued persecution of the Rohingya, and, in this regard, the international community, all have a role to play in the repatriation process.

Until then, any hope of the Rohingya returning to their homeland will remain unfulfilled.