Japan’s support to Myanmar’s stance that no genocide was committed against ethnic and religious minority Rohingya people has made the Bangladesh government annoyed, according to diplomatic sources.
The government is likely to lodge a protest either formally or informally through diplomatic channels at the earliest either in Dhaka or in Tokyo, they told New Age on Sunday in connection to a statement made by Japanese ambassador to Myanmar.
‘We fully believe that there is no genocide in Myanmar,’ Japanese ambassador to Myanmar Ichiro Maruyama said at a press conference at his residence in Yangon on December 26.
‘We are praying and hoping that the ICJ will not issue a ruling for provisional measures,’ he said, according to Radio Free Asia.
He made the statement when Myanmar was facing genocide charges at the International Court of Justice with a plea from plaintiff Gambia seeking emergency measures from the court to prevent further atrocities from being conducted against the minority community.
He told the press in Burmese that he separately informed state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and military commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing that the Japanese government stands with Myanmar in the face of legal actions at both the ICJ and the International Criminal Court on allegations of genocide.
‘I don’t think that the Myanmar Tatmadaw committed genocide or [had the] intent of genocide. I also don’t think that they have intention to kill all the Muslim residents in Rakhine,’ he said, according to Burmese online irrawaddy.com.
Aung San Suu Kyi denied at the ICJ on December 11 that the violence committed against the Rohingya people was done with genocidal intent.
More than 7,00,000 Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh after fleeing unbridled murder, arson, and rape during the last security ‘security operations’ by Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing and genocide, beginning from August 25, 2017.
The on-going Rohingya influx took the number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to about 11,16,000, according to estimates by UN agencies and Bangladesh foreign ministry.
A UN-mandated independent fact-finding commission concluded that the attacks on the Rohingya people were carried out with ‘genocidal intent’. It also warned that roughly 6,00,000 Rohingya currently living in Myanmar face a ‘serious risk of genocide’.
Not a single Rohingya person returned to Rakhine as Bangladesh and Myanmar took two attempts since the two countries signed three agreements, in last two years, for facilitating the repatriation of people who crossed over to Bangladesh since October 2016.
Rohingya people are unwilling to go back to Rakhine without guarantee for Myanmar citizenship, confirmation of their ethnic identity and assurance for safety, security and human rights under international supervision.
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