DHAKA (THE DAILY STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The foreign minister is absolutely right when he says the repatriation of Rohingyas depends entirely on Myanmar.
Mere expression of willingness by Myanmar to take back the refugees is not enough. Demonstrative actions must follow quickly on the part of Myanmar.
Regrettably, with every passing day the prospect of the Rohingyas going back to their own country is becoming bleaker.
With the expulsion of the majority of the Rohingyas two years ago, Myanmar has put its final touches to their plans to divest the entire eastern Rakhine of the minority Rohingyas.
The destruction of Rohingya villages and the Myanmar army setting up bases in this area only show that Myanmar is not prepared for the repatriation which Bangladesh hopes would start before September.
It has been quite apparent from the beginning, when the final push against the Rohingyas commenced in June 2017, and given the circumstances under which a nearly million Rohingyas had to leave and take shelter in Bangladesh, the issue of their going back was the last thing in the minds of the rulers in Naypyidaw.
Expulsion of the Rohingyas was not an accident, as the foreign minister has described the development in Rakhine, but a well-planned and deliberate act.
It seems the agreement between the two neighbours was a ploy by Myanmar to buy time in order to finalise their plans of depopulating the region.
The renewed persecution of the Rohingyas in the pretext of anti-insurgency operation against the Arakan army, since January this year, has reconfirmed the fact.
Bangladesh has been repeatedly calling upon the international community, particularly Myanmar's two big neighbours, to take a more active and robust position on the issue and prevail upon the Myanmar authorities to take back the refugees.
Merely wanting something to happen is meaningless unless that is supported by substantive action.
Concrete actions are needed also by the UN to convince the Myanmar government that genocidal acts will not pay in the long run.
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