'Destructive movements' in Rohingya camps preventing repatriation: Myanmar | The Daily Star
01:39 PM, September 29, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:32 PM, September 29, 2019

'Destructive movements' in Rohingya camps preventing repatriation, alleges Myanmar minister at UN


A senior official of Myanmar alleged at the United Nations on Saturday that "destructive movements in the camps (in Bangladesh) aimed at preventing repatriation and exploiting the plight of dispersed person (Rohingyas)."

However, Union Minister for the Office of the country's State Counsellor, Kyaw Tint Swe, did not specifically point out or clarify what did he mean by the term "destructive movement".

Kyaw Tint Swe said in his speech on the fifth day of debate in the UN General Assembly in New York, US, "We call on Bangladesh to faithfully implement the bilateral agreement which is the only feasible way to resolve the issue of displaced person."

"We also call on Bangladesh to allow the speedy repatriation of those who have long expressed their desire to return including some 400 people of Hindu fate," he said in his speech.  

"… introducing new elements, putting forward new conditionality will be a futile exercise," he said adding that exertions of discriminatory scrutinisation and political pressure with malicious intent will not contribute to our efforts in resolving the problem. 

Myanmar is prioritizing the repatriation of scores of people who fled violence in northern Rakhine state for Bangladesh, he said.

Smooth and successful repatriation require genuine repatriation and committed efforts as well as strict adherence to signed agreements, he said at the UN assembly. 

The Minister dismissed demands to establish a “safe zone” in Myanmar as “neither warranted, nor workable.”

On Myanmar military probe

Regarding accountability for the events in Rakhine state, Swe reported that a military investigation is currently underway.

“A recent announcement suggests that there will soon be a court martial,” said a UN News report quoting him.

Swe also addressed an International Criminal Court (ICC) request to authorize an investigation into alleged crimes in Rakhine State.

However, he said “independent scholars have already identified the request is problematic in that it excludes alleged crimes committed by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, with deliberate omission of the undisputed fact that their actions precipitated the current displacement.”

Other concerns cited include that the ICC Prosecutor “relies heavily on human rights reports” which contain “factual errors” on both national and international law.

In Swe’s view, the ICC Prosecutor is focused on the outflow from Rakhine state yet remains “silent” on what he called “the broader picture” behind the displacement, as well as the various parties involved.

“This silence widens the divide between the International Criminal Court and the people of Myanmar who have been made to feel that their concerns are of less import than the perceptions of influential nations and organizations acquainted but superficially with the true situation on the ground,” he said. 

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