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There is no other way

  • Published at 12:03 am October 27th, 2019
Rohingya Camp in Cox's Bazar
Photo: MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

It’s time for Myanmar to admit its faults and respect the fundamental rights of their own citizens

Myanmar’s persecution of its Rohingya minorities is quite possibly the biggest humanitarian crisis of our times -- a crisis that has resulted in close to a million Rohingya refugees taking shelter in Bangladesh, who have been welcomed with open arms.

But the current state of affairs is untenable, as Bangladesh is a country of limited resources, and already we are stretched too thin.

The only real solution to this crisis is for Myanmar to swallow its pride and repatriate the people who should have the inalienable right to Myanmar citizenship, with an assurance of their safety and security upon return.

As any repatriation has to be voluntary on the part of the refugees, who, understandably, would not want to return to a life of persecution and state-sanctioned ethnic cleansing.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina rightly pointed out that this crisis is a political one, one that is deeply rooted in Myanmar and its government, at the 18th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Baku.

Myanmar needs to earn the trust of its own people. This is a sentiment that Rohingya leaders themselves have rightfully stated -- and until Myanmar meets their demands, the Rohingya will never opt for repatriation willingly.

Assurance of citizenship, safety, and a restoration of their lands -- these are what the Rohingya want, and indeed deserve from their government.

This issue has lingered for far too long. It’s time for Myanmar to admit its faults and respect the fundamental rights of its citizens.