Myanmar rigid on Rohingya repatriation conditions

Sarwar Azam Manik, Cox's Bazaar

The third phase of dialogue with Myanmar team on Rohingya issues ended without any decision.  According to sources, a top level Myanmar and an ASEAN teams arrived in Cox's bazaar on Wednesday to discuss on the repatriation of the Rohingya refugees. The team members discussed with a 47-member Rohingya representatives on the issue of repatriation of the refugees. 

The Myanmar and ASEAN teams repeatedly requested the Rohingyas to return to Rakhaine in Myanmar with the National Verification Cards to be supplied to them from the Myanmar government. But the Rohingya representatives refused the request saying they would only return to Rakhine with their full citizenship facilities and other civic facilities there. 

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Myanmar and ASEAN representatives started dialogue with the Rohingya community leaders at the extension-4 Rohingya camp at Kutupalang of Ukhia.  40 Rohingya Community leaders including 6 women participated the dialogue.

Headed by the Director of International Organisation of Foreign Ministry of Myanmar and Director of Economic Section Chan Aye, a nine-member Myanmar representatives include high ups from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Home Ministry, Relief and Rehabilitation Ministry, Labour and Immigration Ministry and Information Ministry and the seven-member ASEAN team also includes high ups from ASEAN states. 

Muhibullah, a Rohingya Community leader who participated the dialogue, informed, " Myanmar representatives were repeating the 'earlier proposals'. We can not return to Myanmar with NVC cards by any means. there was nothing new in the dialogue."

Rohingya leader Master Siraj Ahmed said, " this( dialogue) is a drama of Myanmar. Myanmar has taken up the step of dialogue with Rohingya to divert the attention of on going case in the International Court of Justice to other ways. I can not find any new in the dialogue without the Myanmar's attempt to divert the attention of the international community to other ways."

Another Rohingya leader Dr. Zobayer Ahmed said, ' In the meeting we demanded repeatedly to give us the citizenship of Myanmar. But the Myanmar representative team kept aside our demands. I can not find any way out of the Rohingya repatriation through such dialogue." 

Rohingya Woman leader Jamalida Begum informed," Myanmar representative can not be trustworthy specially after the wide-spread torture on Muslims. They ( Myanmar representatives) are not agreed to hear about any repressive, tortuous incidents in Rakhine. Rather they said to accept the NVC cards at first and then the citizenship will be awarded. But there are many unacceptable terms in the NVC cards."  

Shamsuzzoha, Additional Secretary of Cox's Bazaar Refugee Relief and Repatriation informed, teh Myanmar and the ASEAN teams arrived in Cox's bazaar for a two-day trip. On the first day, the team members held discussion with Rohingya representatives at Kutupalank Extension camp in Ukhia and on Thursday, the dialogue ended at the same spot. 

Earlier on July 27 this year, a 19-member top level Myanmar representatives headed by Mint Khoye, Foreign Secretary of Myanmar and the ASEAN team visited the Rohingya refugee camps and took part in discussion in repatriation issues with Rohingyas. 

Also on Apirl-11, 2018 another Myanmar representatives headed by Win Myat Aye visited Kutupalang Rohingya camp in Ukhia to hold talks with Rohingya leaders. 

It is learnt, from August 25,2017 more than 1.1 million( 11 lakh) Rohingya escaped from Rakhaine of Myanmar and entered into Cox's Bazaar to save their lives from Mynmar Army and the Buddhists attack and retaliation.

In January 2018 Myanmar government strikes a deal with Bangladesh for safe repatriation of the Rohingya refugees. The same year on June-6, an agreement was signed with the Myanmar government and with the international organisations of the UN on repatriation of the Rohingyas. As a part of Rohingya repatriation, Myanmar government sent a list of 3,455 Rohingya citizens to repatriate on August 22 but none of the Rohingya refugees agreed to return to Myanmar and thus suspending the process of repatriation.