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The Tough Road Ahead

In what could be seen as a major strategic conquest of United Nations, the global body has, successfully, negotiated a deal with Myanmar for the repatriation of people of Rohingya community—despite its uncertain stance towards Myanmar thus far and Myanmar’s dogmatic stance of not allowing the Rohingyas back to its country. In this backdrop, the commendable execution of the most uphill task of bringing over Myanmar to address the Rohingyas’ concerns, through international pressure, is praiseworthy.

The deal will, inevitably, facilitate the repatriation of people of Rohingya community to their country, though it would be too early to say that the pact will yield a concrete resolution of the said problem. The pact between Myanmar and United Nations include of accommodating the circumstances for the voluntary, safe and dignified repatriation of Rohingya refugees and charting out the strategy for the implementation of this task by Myanmar.

Myanmar is a country with Buddhist majority. The population of Rohingyas accounts for about a million and they have been inhabiting in the Rakhine province of Myanmar, where they are recognized as Bangladeshi migrants existing without even Myanmar’s citizenship. A spate of disputes between Buddhist and Rohingyas had broken out earlier, but conditions, in the past six years, have taken even a worse turn. The last five years have witnessed over half a million Rohingyas been forced from Myanmar and seeking asylum in other countries.

The hand behind the atrocities, apparently, has been of Myanmar’s forces which, at various point of time, carried out suppressing operations that included setting a large number of homes ablaze, mass murder of innocents and sexual exploitation of women. A large number of Rohingyas have been given shelters in countries like India, Bangladesh, and Malaysia. The suppressive operations of Myanmar forces on Rohingyas had been recognized as ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ by United Nations.

Though, the smooth repatriation of Rohingyas and ensuring their secure rehabilitation would, inevitably, be a tenacious task for United Nations. Notwithstanding, its stubborn attitude towards the Rohingya issue, the pact with Myanmar is, precisely, the result of pressure put on Myanmar by International Community and UN Security Council. Even the Army Chief of Myanmar has made it clear that the Rohingyas can only be safe within the stipulated area especially allotted to them. It points out the fact that Rohingyas are to be allotted separate colonies.

The most confusing fact is, even the so-called democratic Government of Myanmar did not take any productive and benevolent step towards resolving the issue. The Government of Aung San Suu Kyi, the noble peace prize laureate who also led a vast campaign throughout the country for restoring the democracy, stunned the world with her tight-lipped attitude towards the Rohingya issue. The entire episode points out the passivity of government to the army. Now, even if the rehabilitation process of Rohingyas in Myanmar succeeds, their safety will be encircled with various question marks. Clearly, the Rohingyas have a tough road ahead.

 

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