Dhaka hopeful of tripartite talks soon over Rohingya repatriation

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Monday expressed optimism over the resumption of talks on Rohingya repatriation using a tripartite mechanism after the formation of a new government in Myanmar.

“We want to remain positive,” Dr Momen told reporters indicating that the tripartite talks will begin soon.

Bangladesh, Myanmar and China are planning to hold Foreign Minister-level tripartite talks, likely in Beijing, to begin the repatriation of Rohingyas without any delay.

The Myanmar side made a commitment over the repatriation of Rohingyas in various ways but not a single Rohingya returned to Rakhine over the last three years.

The Foreign Minister said there is a trust deficit among Rohingyas that needs to be addressed by the Myanmar side.

Apart from the commitment to take their nationals back, Myanmar also informed that they have published a booklet on the work the Myanmar side has done and Rohingyas will be given those booklets to know the situation in Rakhine.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has conveyed his Bangladesh counterpart that Myanmar recently assured them (China) of taking back the Rohingyas who are temporarily taking shelter in Bangladesh.

The Chinese Foreign Minister had a telephone conversation with his Bangladesh counterpart Dr Momen recently.

The first such tripartite meeting was held in New York.

Wang Yi said China has been maintaining regular communication with Myanmar over Rohingya repatriation issue.

Myanmar’s ruling National League for Democracy party claimed on Monday that it has won enough seats in Parliament to constitute an absolute majority government and retain power, according to AP.

It made the claim even though the state Union Election Commission has not yet completed releasing results from Sunday’s election.

“I can now confirm that we’re now securing more than 322 seats,” said Monywa Aung Shin, a spokesperson for the NLD information committee. There are 642 seats in Parliament.

“We were aiming to secure 377 seats in total. But it would be likely more than that,” said Monywa Aung Shin.

Dr Momen said Bangladesh will welcome the new government in Myanmar though there is no change.

The Foreign Minister recently said Rohingyas will “jeopardise regional and international security” if the 1.1 million of them are left unattended and not given the opportunity to return to their homeland.

Repatriation attempts were failed twice in November 2018 and August 2019 amid Rohingyas’ “lack of trust” in the Myanmar government.

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation deal on November 23, 2017.

Also read: Myanmar polls: Suu Kyi’s party claims to have won majority

On January 16, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on “Physical Arrangement”, which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland.

Fortify Rights on Monday said the international community should condemn the mass disenfranchisement of Rohingya in Myanmar’s national elections held on November 8.

“A core principle of elections under international law is universal and equal suffrage and that is not what took place yesterday,” said Ismail Wolff, Regional Director of Fortify Rights.

The international community must unequivocally condemn the disenfranchisement of Rohingya and other ethnic nationalities or risk paving the path for future violations, he said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh