ROHINGYA CRISIS

Treat with generosity, but without emotion

by Gazi Mizanur Rahman | Published: 00:05, Oct 10,2017 | Updated: 22:59, Oct 09,2017

 
 

The photo taken on October 8 shows Rohingya refugees waiting to collect relief materials in Thyangkhali refugee camp in Teknaf. — Agence France-Presse/Munir Uz Zaman

MANY of our people sometimes show too much emotion in their expression when they deal with a particular issue. Emotion has a place in our life as it is a guiding force for love and sacrifice for others. But emotion should be bridled within the four walls of pragmatism and sensibility so that it may not hinder our journey to the destination. These days we have proved to be too emotional in our thoughts about the Rohingyas who have crossed the border into Bangladesh to take shelter from the ethnic cleansing of the Myanmar pro-junta administration.
Those who are active Facebook users might have noticed that some people are calling on our young Muslim citizens to marry Rohingya girls, telling that this is the best way to show charity to them. Another example of this sort is the invitation to wage a war with Myanmar. Some again are in favour of allowing the Rohingyas to mingle with our mainstream society, saying that they will earn their livelihood through work and sustain themselves in Bangladesh. These hypes are supposed to be capitalised by a quarter that always lies in wait for the follies of people to cash on it.
We have all sympathy for the Rohingyas and all dislike for Suu Kyi’s administration of Myanmar. But we must remain sensible and diplomatic in our treatment of the Rohingya issue to foil the intention of the Myanmar junta government to drive away their Rohingya citizens on a false and atrocious plea which is unacceptable to the world. In our treatment of Rohingya refugees, our policy should be to keep the pressure on the Myanmar government stringent and long-lingering that can make them give way to the implementation of justice to be done to the Rohingya community. Our tactics should be to pose ourselves as humane as we could be but we should not lavish the human attitude more than is needed lest we should invite more members of that community to cross the border. Because, this will give an extra privilege to the Arakan Buddhist miscreants to consolidate their position in Rakhine through getting a walk-over there.
The Rohingya people should be allowed to remain as close as possible to the border with every threat posed that the real owner of the houses are very close to the illegal occupants and they may come any moment to stop the illegal trespass into their houses. The distressed community should be treated as a separate entity who are though not at a real war with the aggressor, but they should feel that they are fighting a moral war. Participation in economic activities inside Bangladesh will bring a complacent atmosphere which may be detrimental to the tenacity of mind to return back home.
We should also remember that ours is a country of vulnerable economy, vulnerable landscape with the threats of disaster, and a vulnerable socio-political condition. We have no time and money to waste on unnecessary items. We have no confirmed friend or no confirmed enemy. India and Russia supported us in our independence movement, but we cannot expect that they would always be on the side of the distressed. Great Britain and the United States are sympathetic to the Rohingyas. But they have a historical cause with the Rohingya community who fought for them in Myanmar against Japanese occupation during the Second World War. Though we have development partnership with China, we have to understand that the citizens of Burma and China are culturally more akin to each other than the Rohingyas. With this multifaceted criss-cross of interest lines, we must not be emotional to decide a friend and a foe. We should not say, ‘Oh, you did this, you are my all-time friend, or you are my all-time enemy.’On top of these, we must place our feet in the marshy land where there are possible strongholds of settled earth.

Gazi Mizanur Rahman is a former civil servant.

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