Bangladesh has been receiving Rohingya refugees fleeing brutal military operations of Myanmar since early years 1942. Every time Rohingya escaped deadly discriminatory operation in Myanmar, Bangladesh allow them to take refuge in its territory with generosity.
But during the agreement between two countries excluded Rohingya victims’ concern why they have been fleeing their original places. No one ever has tried to get into deeper to realize root cause of exodus. They only wanted repatriation no matter what the condition was there in Myanmar places of victims’ origin. As a result of harsh repatriation without intention to know causes of exodus, Myanmar has been deporting Rohingya from their original land by different persecuting and targeted operation and Bangladesh has also been allowing them to take refuge in its land some time because of international pressure or support while some other time for the empathy of being same religion.
Bangladesh Role in Repatriation of Rohingya
Every time Rohingya flee Myanmar, Bangladesh shows its generosity to accept them. But this time in 2017, its government and its people were heart broken to witnesses atrocities Rohingya had been through in Arakan and on the way to Bangladesh. They immediately open border and accepted them for that Bangladesh has received a title of honour “Country of Humanity”. After two years of 2017 exodus, Bangladesh seem to be very tough and merciless to Rohingya refugees.
It started to embrace Myanmar’s role to torture and repatriate Rohingya back to their land Arakan without any guarantee of safety and restoration of their citizenship rights what can roughly be figured out as one of the main causes of the crisis.
Myanmar is now facing international concerted pressure for the crimes its forces committed during genocide operation named clearance operation in 2017, August.
Myanmar now realize that it need to take back these Rohingya to divert international pressure and to get impunity from genocide charge. Myanmar approached China and Russia who are its main arms-supplying countries. These two Myanmar’s friends started pressurizing Bangladesh to start repatriation as soon as possible. After second attempt to repatriate refugees on 22nd, August was failed, Bangladesh first time voiced to be tough against Rohingya refugees trying to know who campaign to stop repatriation. In fact this repatriation was voluntary according to bilateral agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh, those who are eligible to return could say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to return to zero level progressed-Rakhine.
Bangladesh saw that as a negative point for them. Apart from that, refugees marked 25th August as genocide remembrance day with a huge rally that triggered Local Bangladeahi to say that as a security threat for them and urged government to take measures against Rohingya and to send them back to Rakhine.
Step Taken By Bangladesh,
Few days after huge rally was organized, CIC camp in charge officer of camp 1 and camp 4 were withdrawn accusing them being involved in organizing big Rohingya rally in camp 4 extension. Commissioner of refugee relief and repatriation commission, two CICs were transferred. Mobile services in the camp are restricted and smartphones are being seized too. Rohingya refugees open grocery shops, mobile sale, and other dealing business in the camp are being destroyed and shelters are being demolished.
People in the camps now become panic_stricken.
Bangladesh foreign minister A.K abdul Momen said in an interview “They have to return to myanmar or go where we will take them to ( Bachan Char)”. On a question interviewer asked ‘What if they refuse to go there?’ He replied, “we will force them”. It is just initial steps taken by Bangladesh to restrict and persecute Rohingya in the camp as Myanmar did to them. As of Bangladesh current stance on Rohingya crisis, Rohingya can not hope to get their rights restored in the future but can assure that it will be the inception of the next exodus within next decade.Rohingya crisis will remain as a business deal between countries as it have been in previous waves of exodus. It is a business deal among China, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar where Myanmar’s percentage of profit is more than others.
Myanmar’s Role To accept Rohingya
Myanmar has planned everything to accept Rohingya with the support of ASEAN nations empowered by China and India who engaged in business with Myanmar. But it has not progressed anything rather than model villages built by India and China that are no more than concentration camps. According to their pre-plan, Rohingya returnees will have to receive NVC and remian stateless in their own ancestral land. If it is compared to the previous repatriation of Rohingya exodus, it will be worse than those repatriation the two countries did in 1978 and 1994.
Rohingya were at least recognized as residents of Myanmar. These waves of exodus are like traps that are entrapped by Myanmar government. Deportation of Rohingya from their land to Bangladesh means untying preys from traps and repatriation of Rohingya without restoration rights means entrapping them again. Each time Rohingyas flee from Myanmar, there is a hidden profit to Myanmar is that population of Rohingya become less in number to take back than population went out during operation because Myanmar well knows that people scared to come back to Myanmar and settle in a third country.
According 1909 and 1911 census, Rohingya population in Arakan was triple to Arakanese(mog) population. Now those predominated Rohingya population become a minority in Arakan. Any one easily figure out this huge decrease of population. Myanmar always claim that Rohingya are recent migrants from Bangladesh while they do not have a single evidence to prove Muslims(Forget Rohingya) migrated into Myanmar after 1660s. Rohingya have been fleeing Arakan and settling in another country where they feel safer than in Myanmar.
Because of multiple waves of exodus from Arakan to Bangladesh, Rohingya population in Arakan now become about 1 million which is approximately one third of 3.1 millions of Rakhine ethnic group. We can have a look at the recent list of Rohingya refugees sent to Myanmar for verification. Myanmar could verify only 3450 Rohingya out of 22000 names sent by Bangladesh. Here one can raise a question, who were the rest of 18550 people out of 22000?
Were they Bangladeshi who Bangladesh want to deport? Lets forget about this. In 2017 more than 740000 Rohingya fled during the genocide operation, but Myanmar agreed to accept only 500000. Where will the rest 240000 people go?
This is what Myanmar’s way to exterminate Rohingya ethnic from Arakan in the names of different operations. If this plan succeed as of previous ones, Myanmar will successfully, extinct 240000 Rohingya people within few years apart from those nearly 300000 fled in 1992, 2012, 2014 and 2016. And After the would be repatriation with NVC plan, there will be only about 800000 Rohingya in Arakan. They will create new operation against Rohingya to flee from Arakan after killing thousands, then repatriation with another new genocidal policy. After two three of these round, Myanmar will be able to declare Rohingya free Rakhine state.
Solution: Bangladesh can find
Bangladesh should stand with Rohingya at this very critical situation of Rohingya community whose destiny are being business-gamed among Powers and Self-interest. It should put pressure on Myanmar to take back these Rohingya with their citizenship rights and other human rights which need to be restored not vulnerable Rohingya refugees in Cox’s bazar camp.
Bangladesh should not be part of genocide campaign started by Myanmar by forcibly sending rohingya to Bachan Char where refugee fear to go or do premature repatriation. If Bangladesh can virtualize, it will not send Rohingya back to Myanmar prior they get justice and their rights back rather it would stand with them and voice against genocide to prosecute perpetrators in an international tribunal and find out root causes of Rohingya Crisis for sustainable solution.
If it can not help Rohingya to let them stay in its land, it should ask for help from UN to create safe zone within Bangladesh to maintain peace between host community and rohingya refugees in COX’S bazar. Rohingya have ever been the most law abiding-community. It can talk with Rohingya refugee directly to realise the issue between host community and refugees. The way Bangladesh now embrace is Myanmar’s genocidal approach to pressure and manipulate, if Bangladesh continue putting measures to refugees, it will be none other than politicise against refugees.
By A Refugee In Limbo.
* This represents the writer’s own opinion. It doesn’t necessarily reflect RVision’s stance.
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