Rohingya

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is visiting China from July 1 on 5-day official tour. During this meeting, she will have meeting with key policymakers in Beijing, including President Xi Jinping. Meanwhile, Dhaka is indicating that, during the upcoming trip, Sheikh Hasina will raise the Rohingya refugee issue with her Chinese counterpart. Bangladesh will convey its fear of ”radicalism and uncertainty” in the region on security front to China due to the prolonged stay of Rohingyas in Bangladesh.

Briefing the reporters in Dhaka, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said, “If the problem [Rohingya crisis] remains unresolved for a long time, there is a possibility of growing some pockets of radicalism. If terrorist acts grow, there will be uncertainty in the entire region”.

He said, China might face problem in achieving its desired goal if uncertainty prevails in the region.

Momen said the Rohingya issue will be there on the priority list during Prime Minister’s visit to China while the investment issue will come up as a relevant one.

“China is investing a lot in Myanmar. China has also invested in Bangladesh. The investment will bring no benefit if there’s no peace and discipline. We’ll also convey it to China,” he added.

Bangladesh is currently hosting 1.2 million Rohingyas, mostly entered the country since August 25, 2017.

Earlier, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, authorities in Myanmar and international aid groups are both actively trying to prevent Rohingya refugees from ever returning home.

Voicing her frustrations over the slow pace of starting the repatriation since the two nations signed an “arrangement” in November 2018, Sheikh Hasina said, the problem lies with Myanmar, as they don’t want to take back the Rohingyas by any means”.

She further said, aid organizations are also trying to sabotage the repatriation efforts by encouraging Rohingya to protest the plan.

“Who instigated the movement? The problem that I now see is that different international agencies that are providing voluntary services or working at Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar never want any refugee to go back”, the Bangladesh Prime Minister said.

Who are misleading the Rohingyas?

Those foreign aid groups and NGOs, particularly the Iranian and Turkish groups are trying to keep the Rohingya refugee issue unresolved with the ulterior motive of brainwashing these unfortunate people and use them into jihadist activities. While Iran wants to use the Rohingya card with the ulterior agenda of using these people in creating anarchy and jihadist notoriety within Bangladesh and Myanmar. At the same time, Turkey’s agenda is to use this huge size of refugees in establishing an army of sharia and radical Islam.

ASEAN siding with Myanmar

The bitterest fact is gradually Bangladesh is becoming cornered on the Rohingya refugee issue mostly due to wrong diplomacy of the previous Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and his team. They had hastily signed the “arrangement” with Myanmar without consulting with the international community. Experts already had warned, the “arrangement” was actually a booby’s-trap set by Myanmar’s crook Generals and policymakers.

In the assessment report on the Rohingya refugee issue, a report penned by the Southeast Asian bloc’s “Emergency Response and Assessment Team” (ASEAN-ERAT) praised Myanmar on efforts to ensure “smooth and orderly” returns, echoing the Southeast Asian country’s view that delays in repatriation are due to bungled paperwork by Bangladeshi officials.

Amnesty International said it was “astonishing” the report failed to mention the military atrocities that drove the Rohingya out, the continued segregation of those who remained or ongoing armed conflict in Rakhine.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), where Myanmar is also a member evidently has sided with its member country thus totally ignoring the gravity of this crisis. Instead of solving the issue, ASEAN actually has granted a clean chit to the atrocious Myanmar military establishment and its puppet Aung San Suu Kyi government.

Can Bangladesh expect China’s intervention into the Rohingya issue?

Unfortunately, India, which is the greatest ally of the ruling party in Bangladesh has clearly betrayed on the Rohingya issue. Instead of helping Bangladesh, policymakers in India have maintained surprising silence on the matter. Similarly, Bangladesh’s important allies like Russia, Japan and China are staying aloof from this crucial issue.

It will be rather extremely weird to think; China will intervene into the Rohingya crisis. Instead, China will either remain silent or will diplomatically skip Bangladesh’s request for any intervention into the matter. The only hope in this case is the intervention of the United States, which again does not seem to be that much intending in compelling Myanmar in immediately taking back their 1.2 million people from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina actually needs reboot her Rohingya repatriation strategy and adopt effective measures with the goal of mobilizing international community, particularly the United States on this issue and exert severe pressure on Myanmar thus compelling them in taking back this huge size of refugee from Bangladesh.

Synthia Rozario is the former correspondent of The Eastern Express, Hong Kong.

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