Long-term benefits and solution for Rakhine State affairs

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  • Khin Maung Oo
  • In meeting with diplomats in Dhaka in early September, Mr Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh alleged that there has been ethnic cleansing committed in Rakhine State. The allegation was, in fact, a groundless one. Yet, the Minister chose not to mention the brutal attacks carried out by ARSA extremist terrorist on 25th August of this year, which was widely reported in the Myanmar media. Burials of atrociously killed 45 Hindus in shallow graves were acts of terrorism committed by the ARSA extremists. No one can deny the veracity of these reports. Holding groundless allegations dogmatically, without solid evidence means an abnormal attitude.
    Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s call to put international pressure on Myanmar to stop forcing persons of Bangladeshi origin into Bangladesh territory and take back those refugees is a big disappointment. In reality, the Bangladesh Prime Minister should have known that such pressure could not find a solution to any problem. The Bangladeshi Minister for Industries has repeatedly claimed that Myanmar is violating human rights over Bengalis in Rakhine State disclosed that there has been no plans for designating Bengalis fleeing from Myanmar as refugees. The Minister also said that fleeing Bengalis were not allowed to go outside the camp to mix with Bangladeshi citizens.
    According to that statement that Bengalis said to have fled from Rakhine State could not be regarded as refugees, it can be assessed as to how much Bangladesh value human rights. In actuality, Bengalis who claimed to have left from Rakhine State and Bangladeshi citizens exactly resemble in appearance, religion and use of language. For that reason, the Minister for industries was really worried. Evidently enough, Bengalis claiming to have fled from Rakhine do not belong to any of the 135 ethnic national races in Myanmar.
    The State Counsellor herself did pledge that those who had lived in Rakhine would be accepted without delay in accordance with the agreement made between Myanmar and Bangladesh. They would be granted rights of citizenship provided that they comply with the Citizenship law. In other words, the State Counsellor has already explained about the principles that have been mutually accepted to solve the problem of refugees.
    Patrick Murphy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southeast Asia himself has already acknowledged the constructive approach of the State Counsellor. Mr.Vivian Balakrishman, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore also warned in his address at the 72nd UNGA’s general debate that UN member states should not fall for the trick of extremist terrorists, at the same time urging all nations to co-operate with Myanmar. We would like to urge Bangladesh to deal with the Rakhine State affair with a constructive attitude by co-operating with Myanmar on a bilateral basis for the benefit of both countries. Any attempt to exert pressure on Myanmar at the UN level or with the help of propaganda networks set up by ARSA and their supporters would be counter-productive.
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