Rohingyas for Verification: Myanmar handed fresh list of 50,000 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:00 AM, October 16, 2019

Rohingyas for Verification: Myanmar handed fresh list of 50,000

Says foreign minister; coastal surveillance won’t hurt ties with China

Bangladesh has handed over a new list of around 50,000 Rohingyas to the Myanmar authorities for verification and subsequently expediting repatriation efforts.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said this to a small group of reporters at his ministry yesterday.

He said there are many stages of preparing a list and they are now expediting the process.

With this, Bangladesh has so far handed over names of over 1 lakh Rohingyas to Myanmar.

Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas. Most of them entered the country since August 25, 2017 amid a military crackdown on them.

On January 16 last year, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on “Physical Arrangement”, which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland.

The arrangement stipulates that the repatriation will be completed preferably within two years of its start.

Two attempts at Rohingya repatriation were unsuccessful as the Myanmar authorities “failed to build confidence” among Rohingyas and there was unwillingness on their part to return due to lack of a congenial environment in Rakhine.

On September 23 in New York, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar agreed to create a “tripartite joint working mechanism” to evaluate the situation on the ground for the repatriation of Rohingyas.

Foreign Minister Momen had a joint meeting with his Chinese and Myanmar counterparts on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

The first meeting of the tripartite working body is scheduled to be held this month.

COASTAL SURVEILLANCE

About the coastal surveillance radar system to be provided to Bangladesh by India, the foreign minister yesterday said Bangladesh’s relations with China would in no way be affected due to the installation of the system.

He said many pirates come and take away fisheries resources due to lack of a proper surveillance system. Installation of the radar system would help Bangladesh monitor pirates in a better way, he added.

On October 5, Bangladesh and India inked seven bilateral documents, including an MoU on providing a coastal surveillance system. The documents were signed during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s official visit to India.

Talking about some foreign diplomats’ recent remarks over the murder of Buet student Abrar Fahad, the foreign minister yesterday said those comments were “unnecessary”.

“There has been an accident and the government has taken very strong actions immediately. This must be recognised. It seems to me that they [diplomats] go beyond their norms,” Momen told reporters.Abrar, a second-year student of electrical and electronic engineering department at Buet, was beaten to death on October 7 reportedly by some Chhatra League men at the university’s Sher-e-Bangla Hall.

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