Myanmar working on Rohingya issues | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 21, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:08 AM, March 21, 2017

Myanmar working on Rohingya issues

Visiting Suu Kyi commission tells refugees in Cox's Bazar

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The visiting Myanmar government delegation yesterday assured Rohingyas staying in Bangladesh that the Myanmar government was working to resolve the ongoing crisis centring their displacement.

The 10-member commission, led by Commission Secretary U Zaw Myint Pe, visited Balukhali Rohingya slum in Ukhia and Leda slum in Teknaf, and listened to the Rohingyas who fled to Bangladesh after being tortured by the Myanmar army.

The commission, formed by Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, arrived in the tourist town on Sunday to see for themselves the conditions of Rohingyas and hear the torture and brutality they endured following the crackdown by the Myanmar army in Rakhine state.

Member of the commission yesterday talked to nearly 50 Rohingya men and women and took notes and recorded their statements.

Johura begum, 18, is one of them. She narrated how her house was looted and vandalised, and how her family members had to suffer.

Sayeda Begum, who is from Hatipara village in Rakhine, said they were left with no food and water before being gang-raped (by the Myanmar army). Her house was torched and her family members and relatives were brutally tortured.

Abu Motaleb of Kiariprang village said his brothers -- Nurul Amin and Sayedul Amin -- and 10 others were shot by the Myanmar army.

Soldiers came to their area and burned almost all houses of Rohingyas, he said, adding: “I somehow managed to flee.”

Most of the women who gave statement before the commission members said they were raped by the army.

However, Rohingyas told the commission that they were willing to go back to their country.

“But we want the Myanmar government to ensure our security and treat us as its citizens,” said Ambia Khatun, who is from Jamboinna village.

“We also demand that the Myanmar government give exemplary punishment to those who committed such inhuman crimes, compensate us and re-build our homes,” she added.

Mastar Abdul Motaleb, a community leader in Leda unregistered refugee slum, said they want peace to prevail in Rakhine state again.

Around 65,000 Rohingyas had fled Myanmar and entered Bangladesh since October 9 last year, according to officials of Bangladesh foreign ministry.

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