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Saturday, February 24, 2018 01:54:02 PM
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Genocide in Myanmar must be confronted for a right solution

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That Bangladesh has become isolated internationally is clear from the fact that on the inhuman crisis faced by Bangladesh with the surge of Rohingya refugees all the three countries considered by our government their closest friends have been supporting openly the Myanmar government. No sympathy and no help has been offered for the acute problems created for Bangladesh. The government is trying to get India's support. Bangladesh government is seeking India's cooperation.

We need to have friendship with India, but friendship between states is a matter of leadership on both sides and not a one-way traffic.

These three countries Russia, China and India cared nothing about genocide being committed against the Rohingya Muslims on ethnic ground and   for forcing them to take refuse in  Bangladesh despite knowing we have too many problems of our own.

Nobel laureates like Desmond Tutu, Dr Muhammad Yunus and Malala Yousafzai have sternly condemned Myanmar and appealed for help. But Myanmar is not an easy country for listening to appeals. They must help organise world pressure and isolate Myanmar regime. Desmond Tutu condemned specifically fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi over her silence.

We expected Dr Yunus's role to be more activist in kind.

We are accepting the Rohingya refugees for our sense of humanity and to save their lives. But Myanmar is causing a human crisis of an immense proportion for Bangladesh so ill equipped to bear. Most Rohingya refugees are living under open sky in rain soaked condition. Some of them are starving though local people are doing whatever little they can do. Most important they should be provided with adequate police protection against criminals.

More aid must come immediately from the international community for the Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations to offer the destitutes the aid they so desperately need.

But we shall do everything possible for the victims of mass killing and rape. Such exodus of Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh is an act that is tantamount to enmity towards Bangladesh.

According to an official estimate nearly three lakhs Rohingya Muslims fled their country for fear of life. No civilised country can treat a section of its own people as stateless and commit carnage on them.

It is clear that Bangladesh government is still reluctant to act decisively seemingly against the policy interest of India in Myanmar. Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi went to Myanmar  and sympathised with  the military. But not a word, he uttered about taking back the refugees or raised the issue of genocide committed against Rohingya people. Mr Narendra Modi could not hide his racist prejudice.

The good thing is: the Indian press and civil society members were highly critical of their Prime Minister's shameless conduct in the face of gross human rights violations.

Our government could not be diplomatically awakened for protesting internationally and gathering forceful support of the international community. The reason cannot be all about incompetence.

No immediate step was taken either to register the refugees for facilitating international help.

Indonesia is very active in international diplomacy though not directly affected. Malaysia also has taken the matter seriously. Our government is waiting as if for a clear indication from somewhere.

Most generous and helpful response for the refugees  came from Turkey. The First Lady with the Foreign Minister visited the refugee shelters in Bangladesh and offered them help and sympathy.

Strong support and sympathy are coming from the Western countries which have been considered enemies by our government since the inception of Bangladesh. The people of Bangladesh are pro-West and pro-democracy.

Our government is unable to see the gravity of the humanitarian crisis as they are too eager to find conspiracy against the government. Even fear has also been expressed about weapons might be coming in. This is unkind. Addiction to power has grown into a nervousness of its own.

Myanmar has certainly victimised the Muslims and made it a religious issue. The Muslim countries have every justification to take the issue as such. So the Muslim countries have a grater obligation to be in the forefront for a solution. Muslim countries are neither helpless or powerless. We must show solidarity. 

Our request to the government of Saudi Arabia is if you want to help the Rohingya Muslims do that with full vigour to be effective. Provocation is no help. When lives of thousands of Rohingya are on the line.

The suggestion of our government to a safe zone under the United Nations for the Rohingya people is another indication of nothingness. The safe zone arrangement worked nowhere.

Rohingyas must be registered as citizens for their statehood to make them safe in their country. There are some 135 ethnic groups in Myanmar. The Muslim Rohingya are denied citizenship in violation of international law and are being subjected to carnage from time to time.

The world has seen how reckless violators of human rights Myanmar government is. The army there has long ceased to be a military force only to become a brute force. The Myanmar military has become a sick institution for long. They felt free to commit abuses.  Instead of facing the insurgents, the military is attacking the unarmed cultivators. Though not practical yet, Bangladesh offered cooperation to fight the insurgents jointly.  Again our government is proving vacuous.

The people of Bangladesh along with the Rohingya Muslims are grateful for the strong response coming from the world community. We expect the friends of humanity to come forward with a working solution for making it possible for the Rohingya people to get statehood and not suffer insane persecution as stateless any more at the pleasure of the Myanmar's military.

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