‘Myanmar agrees to take back Rohingyas in phases’: B’adesh envoy

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Mumbai, March 27: Describing the Rohingya crisis as “one of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world of modern time”, Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali said that Myanmar has agreed to take back Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMN) in phases. Ali was speaking at a media meet in the Mumbai Press Club.
“We are happy that, due to our intense engagement and continuous international pressure, we have been able to conclude a ‘Physical Arrangement’ with Myanmar government last week, under which Myanmar government agreed to repatriate the FDMN who took shelter in Bangladesh in phases,” he said, adding that the “ongoing international pressure” must continue.
Acknowledging India’s support in tackling the issue, he said: “We believe, India would continue its support in the coming days as well to maintain the momentum of the international pressure for securing the rights of these displaced people in Myanmar.”
He said Rohingyas have become “citizenless citizen” in their own country.
“You all are aware, about 700,000 Rohingyas have crossed the border to Bangladesh since 25 August 2017. This new influx, adding to the already existing 400,000 Rohingyas who had entered Bangladesh in several earlier rounds before August 2017, taking the total number over a million,” Ali said.
“This recent mass exodus of about 700,000 Rohingyas has been termed as a “humanitarian crisis of catastrophic proportion” by the UN Secretary-General (António Guterres). We have been giving them “temporary” shelter in Bangladesh on humanitarian consideration, but the ultimate solution is that they have to go back to their homes in Myanmar,” he said.
Ali said that the Bangladesh government do not have any problems with the Myanmar government.
“The core problem of the issue is the refusal of Myanmar authorities to recognize them as their citizens, although they have been living there for centuries, as their citizens. Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has tabled a five-point solution for the resolution of the crisis at the last UNGA session and we believe that continued and sustained international pressure on Myanmar would be catalyst for a long-term solution in this regard, in order to ensure the rights of the Rohingyas, so that they could return to their homes and live there with peace and dignity,” he said.
The Indian government had sent substantial relief materials for the FDMN, by air and ship, which is the largest humanitarian assistance given by any country to Bangladesh during the crisis, the Bangladesh High Commissioner said.
Speaking further on India’s role, he said, “We also count on India’s continued support in the international arena for the early return of FDMN. We also appreciate Indian government’s initiative for rehabilitation projects to be taken in Myanmar for constructing prefabricated houses along with China and Japan, for the FDMN,” he said. (Agencies)