Don't fall for Myanmar's deceit | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 17, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 17, 2018


Don't fall for Myanmar's deceit

Call Rohingyas what they actually are

That Myanmar takes offence at the usage of the term, “forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals,” by Bangladesh is unacceptable.

Myanmar's claims that neither do Rohingyas have a legitimate citizenship claim in the country nor were they forcibly displaced are simply blatant lies.

Myanmar wants Bangladesh to use “displaced persons from Rakhine state” to refer to the Rohingyas. We wonder if this term actually signifies anything but “stateless.” It looks like a dishonest attempt to dehumanise the minority group and deprive them of their fundamental rights.

What's more disturbing is the claim by a Myanmar minister that Rohingyas had “left very gradually” from Rakhine. The entire world saw how nearly a million people fled from their ancestral land, where they lived through generations, within a matter of weeks.

A local news outlet quoted Myanmar officials to claim that Bangladesh had agreed to refrain from using “forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals” to refer to the Rohingyas. While a Bangladeshi official disputes the claim saying no official decision was taken regarding the matter, the government must not even entertain the idea and issue an unequivocal rebuttal.

Bangladesh's experience in dealing with Myanmar shows that the latter views honouring its request as a sign of weakness. If we accept Myanmar's demands, it will then come up with a new set of demands as it did in numerous previous occasions. Bangladesh must, therefore, stay firm and consistent in its stance.

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