Rohingya crisis is Myanmar’s liability

By the Daily Star Editorial Desk, The Daily Star/ANN

DHAKA — The Myanmar special envoy was in Dhaka recently to discuss the Rohingya refugee issue, the direct consequence of the Rohingya crisis. The PM urged Myanmar to take back its nationals taking refuge in Bangladesh and has said discussions between the two countries could resolve the issue permanently. The recent surge in violence against the Rohingyas has sent about 65,000 of them fleeing to Bangladesh for refuge and putting stress on our resources and raising concerns over our security. This is in addition to more than 300,000 Rohingyas already staying in the country for years since the ethnic group was made stateless by a controversial 1982 Myanmar law stripping them of citizenship rights.

Myanmar’s has a policy of exclusion of ethnic minorities, who constitute about 40 per cent of its population. Rohingyas have been subjected to persecution by the state of Myanmar in the form of shooting of unarmed civilians, torture and rape, which according to the U.N., could constitute crimes against humanity. Bangladesh, which has nothing to do with the making of the crisis and yet treated it as a humanitarian issue, has been facing the adverse consequences of the Rohingya persecution. Recruited by criminal syndicates, some Myanmar nationals have been engaged in antisocial activities in this country. Regrettably, some Rohingya refugees are exploiting our hospitality by misusing their status in the country.

Myanmar’s policy towards the Rohingyas is inhumane and unacceptable. Its government should look at history and take note that highhandedness as a state policy is unviable in the long run. Hate, prejudice and racism are evils that always find new victims. Today it is the Rohingyas. Who will be the next? It is the Myanmar government which created the Rohingya problem and it is solely its responsibility to find a lasting solution to it.