Myanmar should pay reparations to countries hosting Rohingyas: discussion 

Diplomatic Correspondent  | Published: 01:34, Jul 10,2020


International community should ensure Myanmar pay appropriate reparations to the countries that are adversely affected by refugee flows, speakers said at a discussion on Thursday.

They also demanded littoral states of Andaman Sea and South China Sea to immediately allow the drifting boats to dock on land.

Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit of Bangladesh organised the online discussion on Rohingya issues, in collaboration of Free Rohingya Coalition.

The governments of the host countries and international support groups should also recognise the rights of members of the Rohingya community, as human being, to create opportunities for self-empowerment and entrepreneurship, said discussants belonging to the community.   

‘There is little likelihood that UN Security Council will take action against the rogue Burmese state. Therefore onus lies on powerful states to impose sanctions on Myanmar,’ RMMRU executive director CR Abrar, who moderated the session, said.

He also called for global civil society to stand in solidarity with Rohingyas to establish their rightful claims to Myanmar citizenship. 

Nay San Lwin, coordinator of Free Rohingya Coalition based in Germany, regretted that the UN mandated agency UNHCR in most cases failed to provide adequate protection to refugees and ensure their rights as refugees. They are merely providing services for survival of refugees, he observed.

Hafsar Tamisuddin, a Rohingya activist based in New Zealand, said the states and international actors thus far have mainly shied away from calling mass atrocity crime against the Rohingyas as genocide and Rohingyas in other lands as refugees.

Reminding the audience that at one time Rohingyas also owned property and many are educated, she said ‘what we need is support, not charity’.

Ali Johar, a Rohinygya cultural activist in India, highlighted the need for access to education for the Rohingya community.

He said in the absence of education an entire generation of Rohingya will grow up illiterate becoming a burden on the host society.

Sujauddin Karimuddin, a Rohingya community leader in Australia, said, with reference to his recent communications to Rakhine, said the Myanmar authorities have kept communications and transportation facilities difficult for the members of the Rohingya community in even ‘so called peace time’ now.

The Rohingya people are still humiliated in Rakhine with calling them as ‘kalar’, a slur used by the majority Buddhist people, he added.

Sharifa Shaqira of Rohingya Women Development Network based in United States observed that Rohingyas, who live a sub-human life in Myanmar, are forced to take help of traffickers to escape the atrocious conditions at home.

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