Give back citizenship to the Rohingyas
We agree with the opinion of the visiting Rakhine Commission that granting citizenship to Rohingyas is imperative for a lasting solution to the ongoing crisis. The Commission issued the statement during a discussion organised by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies on Tuesday following the visit of the three-member delegation to two Rohingya refugee camps in Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas in Cox's Bazar.
The urgent need to grant citizenship status to Rohingyas cannot be emphasised enough given that they are one of the largest groups of stateless people in the world. The Rohingya cause has begun to gain ground only recently despite there being a long history of abuse of the ethnic Muslim minority often called the most persecuted group in the world.
The Myanmar government's discriminatory policies towards the Rohingyas, particularly the 1982 Citizenship Law that essentially stripped them of access to full citizenship and denied them of the most fundamental rights, have led to one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time. Myanmar's willful silence on allegations of mass rapes, indiscriminate killings and torching of entire villages by security forces can only be interpreted as state sanctioned violence to carry out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the minority.
Since the Commission only has recommendatory powers and the Myanmar government isn't legally bound to comply with its suggestions, international bodies and world leaders must prioritise the plight of the Rohingya and pressurise Myanmar into starting the deliberation process of granting Rohingyas citizenship. The Myanmar government cannot forever deny their responsibility and complicity in fomenting the decades-old crisis and bringing about the dehumanising ordeal of the Rohingya that has gone on for far too long.