We cannot emphasise enough the need to heed the call of our Prime Minister for OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) members, currently meeting in Dhaka, to exert united efforts to bring about a sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis. There is no question that the Rohingyas must be able to return to their homeland. But repatriation must come along with the guarantee of their full rights of citizenship and security of their lives.
It has been stated from the Myanmar side that the returnees must live in areas allotted by the government. This goes completely against the principles of proper repatriation; the Rohingya refugees must be able to return to their own villages and homes where they originally lived. Such a statement suggests ghettoization of these refugees who will be penned in without any rights or privileges. This is completely unacceptable and contradicts all the conditions stipulated by Bangladesh in the repatriation agreement with Myanmar and also by the UN.
We are reassured by the OIC's promise to remain united in defending the rights of Rohingyas and its resolve to stand by Bangladesh, a member of the OIC. It is also encouraging that Canada's foreign minister attending the OIC conference has expressed her country's support for Bangladesh in helping to meet the needs of the Rohingya refugees. As the PM has pointed out at her meeting with the Canadian foreign minister, the coming monsoons and cyclones make it all the more urgent that the Rohingya crisis is resolved as many of these refugees are vulnerable to possible landslides.
The OIC with its 57 members wield sufficient clout to exert pressure on Myanmar to comply with the conditions of repatriation.