Dhaka for sustainable return of Rohinga refugees

DHAKA, Jan 19, 2016 (BSS) -Bangladesh today called for sustainable return of refugees and displaced Rohingyas to their homeland and ensuring basic rights of Rakhine Muslims.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam made the call at the Extraordinary Session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, according to a message received here this afternoon.

Shahriral Alam is leading a Bangladesh delegation to the OIC session held to discuss the present situation of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar. Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib Razak inaugurated the event.

In his intervention, the state minister expressed deep concern on recurrence of instability in the Rakhine State resulting in Rakhine Muslims being displaced and uprooted from their ancestral homeland and compelled to take shelter in Bangladesh.

Referring to the recent influx of Rakhine Muslims into Bangladesh for shelter, he demanded Myanmar bring back normalcy in the Rakhine state immediately and take steps for rehabilitation and reconstruction.

He stressed the need for ensuring basic rights of the Rakhine Muslims for a durable solution of the problem with particular emphasis on restoring their citizenship through necessary review of the existing exclusionary citizenship law.

Shahriar Alam also demanded urgent measure from Myanmar for a sustainable repatriation of refugees and all documented and undocumented Myanmar nationals temporarily sheltered in Bangladesh and beyond, to their centuries old homeland-Rakhine state- with safety, security and ensured livelihood.

He urged the OIC to continue working for a durable solution of the problem.

In his opening remarks, the Malaysian prime minister highlighted that the international community cannot remain silent at the continued suffering of the Rohingya Muslim Community and demanded an end to the denial of their basic rights and atrocities and violence inflicted on them.

OIC's Special Envoy to Myanmar Dr. Hamid Albar presented a report on the plight of the Rohingya Muslims and highlighted their subjection to atrocities, gross violation of human rights and collective punishment under state sponsored violence.

He stressed the need for engaging the international community including Human Rights Council with Myanmar and called upon Myanmar to stop the violence.

OIC countries in general expressed concern on the plight of the Rohingya Muslims, called for end of discrimination and violence against them and stressed the need for restoring basic rights including citizenship.

Several countries called for strong actions through UN and Human Rights Council when they expressed a consensus view that this crisis surrounding the Rakhine Muslims is not merely a humanitarian issue, rather it deserves to address within a human rights perspective.

Later, the meeting adopted a resolution emphasizing the need for immediate halt of atrocities, unhindered humanitarian access, end of discrimination, ensuring basic rights including restoration of citizenship through reviewing the existing law and sustainable return of refugees and displaced Rohigyas to the Rakhine State.

The OIC member states urged the OIC Secretary General to engage more with Myanmar, UN and international and regional organizations to address the humanitarian situation and to find a durable solution in this regard.

They also appreciated Bangladesh's generosity and efforts in hosting hundreds of thousands Rohingya Muslims for decades and called for early repatriation to their homeland in Rakhine State.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Ms. Retno Marsudi thanked Bangladesh for facilitating her visit in Cox's Bazar to meet the Rohingya refugees and the new arrivals from Rakhine State of Myanmar and informed the meeting that she would be visiting the site shortly.

On the sidelines of the meeting, State Minister Shahriar Alam held a bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister of Malaysia Dato Sri Anifah Aman where they discussed different aspects of the bilateral cooperation.

He also had a meeting with OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi and Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey Ahmet Yildiz.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)