UN failure helps Myanmar maintain status quo in Rakhine: experts

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 01:16, Sep 20,2020


International and local experts on Saturday said that Myanmar authorities had made clear their unwillingness to create an environment conducive to return of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas in safety and security to Rakhine State as the UN Security Council had failed to take appropriate measures.

‘How sincere Myanmar is to resolve the issues for [Rohingya] people it has denied rights,’ Western Sydney University professor Nichole Georgeou said in an international seminar held virtually on Saturday.

Swinburne University of Technology in Australia organised the seminar in collaboration with several universities, research organisations, civil society organisations in Australia, Canada and Bangladesh. 

There is a lack of sincere political will in Myanmar as there is no visible sign to create a conducive atmosphere for return of Rohingyas, state minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam said.

Myanmar has not been responding to Bangladesh’s call for a meeting of joint work group of the two countries on the matter after the last meeting took place in May 2019, said foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen adding that repatriation depended solely on political will of Myanmar. 

Former secretary Md Shahidul Haque said that lacklustre attitude of the international communities and the failure of the UN had given Myanmar space to maintain statuesque in Rakhine.

He stressed the need for creating a civilian-run safe zone and safe-corridor in Rakhine to facilitate Rohingya repatriation.

Bangladesh high commissioner to Australia Md Sufiur Rahman said that the UN organisations had failed in Myanmar as a good number of members of the international community were busy pleasing Myanmar.

Professor Imtiaz Ahmed of Dhaka University stressed the need for engaging with China, Japan and India in resolving the crisis.

He advised the Rohingya diaspora living in different countries to create a civil-political leadership for creating multipronged pressure on Myanmar.

Philip Ruddock, formal attorney general of Australia, Andrew Loewenstein of FoleyHoag LLP, Jason Wood, Australian assistant minister for multicultural affairs, professor Henri Pallard of Laurentia University, Neville Hewage, Ontario International Development Agency, professor Waker Uddin of Pennsylvania State University, Nay San Lwin of Foreign Rohingya Coalition based  in Germany, Azeem Ibrahim of Displacement and Migration Programme in Washington DC, Tun Khin of Burmese Rohingya Organisation, UK, Wai Wai Nu, Rohingya political activist, professor Christine Jubb and Mohshin Habib of Swinburne University of Technology and Shammi Ahamed of Awami League’s international affairs committee also spoke at the seminar.

Bangladesh has been hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingya people for years as two attempts to launch the repatriation has failed since the signing of agreements with Myanmar over three years back on sending them to their home in Rakhine.

Over 7,00,000 Rohingya people crossed the border to Bangladesh in the last influx that began on August 25, 2017 amid atrocities of the Myanmar military. 

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