Dhaka – Bangladesh has urged international community to stand against the blunt lies that Myanmar had been spreading over the stalled repatriation of Rohingya Muslims who fled a brutal military crackdown in 2017.
Foreign Minister Abul Kalam Abdul Momen at a briefing on Wednesday to foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka also requested their respective countries to raise pressure on Myanmar to create a conducive atmosphere for the return of hundreds of thousands of refugees living in crowded camps in Bangladesh.
“These are not the case of repression on Muslims only. Humanity is being trampled, if you have respect for humanity, you should stand against Myanmar,” the minister is learnt to have told the diplomats at State Guest House.
He said Myanmar did not honor its words, despite the fact they have time and again promised to take the Rohingya back home.
“They told us at a meeting six months ago that they would make everything ready, but we saw no progress has been made when we sat with Myanmar officials last month,” he added.
No Rohingya, including even those are staying at the no-man’s land, has yet been returned.
“How long such blunt lies could be tolerated?” asked the minister.
Nearly 750,000 out of more than 1 million persecuted Muslims living in crowded camps in Bangladesh’s south-eastern district of Cox’s Bazar crossed the border after Myanmar army launched a crackdown in northern Rakhine state in August 2017.
Unknown number of Rohingya Muslims were killed, tortured and that Rohingya women were allegedly raped by the soldiers during the clampdown, which the United Nations terms a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
The process of repatriation stalled as Dhaka blamed Naypyitaw’s reluctance to take Rohingya back home despite the two South Asian neighbours signed an instrument in November 2017 for safe return of the refugees.
Myanmar has failed to create an environment in Rakhine in accordance with the bilateral agreement for the repatriation of Rohingya, said the minister.
Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has been mobilizing diplomatic support for safe return of the refugees, said that Myanmar was unwilling to take back the refugees.
“The main problem is Myanmar as [the Myanmar government] don’t want to take their people back home,” Hasina told a news conference in Dhaka on her recent official trips to Japan, Saudi Arabia and Finland.