False hope won't work, Rohingya crisis can be solved only by effective diplomacy


FOREIGN Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Wednesday expressed hope that Rohingya repatriation will begin soon with sending the first batch of over 3,000 Rohingyas though no specific date has been mentioned to start the process. He told the newsmen, "We're thinking of beginning the first batch repatriation soon. Clearance for over 3,000 Rohingyas is given. But I can't tell you the date at this moment." The minister was talking to journaists after attending a seminar titled 'Rohingya Crisis: Challenges and Ways Forward' at National Defence College (NDC) in the city. At present over 1.2 million Rohingyas are staying in Bangladesh. Of them, an estimated 700,000 Rohingya have fled to Cox's Bazar since August 25 last year being driven away by the Myanmar military.
Our Foreign Minister suddenly has become very much optimistic about the return of Rohingyas without taking the obvious obstacles under active consideration. Surprisingly, he also could not tell the tentative date of return. International Red Cross President Peter Maurer in July said he did not believe returns should start any time soon based on what he saw during his visit. "I think there is still a lot of work to do till large-scale repatriation is a realistic possibility," Maurer said.
What significant is that a high-level Bangladesh delegation led by Mahmood Ali and Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque visited Rakhine on August 11 last and saw no infrastructural facility to rehabilitate the Rohingyas. The world knows, the Myanmar authorities are killing time giving different strange conditions one after another to take back their nationals. We think, without involving global and regional superpowers like Russia, China and India along with involvement of the UN, the Myanmar government will not feel pressure to draw an end to the Rohingya crisis.
By giving false hope over a burning issue may earn some political benefit to the government in the local arena but it may appear as boomerang in the future.