Attitudes and policies of international and regional organizations need to change

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid a state visit to New York from September 19 to 24 to attend the 76th session of the UN General Assembly and to participate in various high-level events. She returned to the country on October 1 after completing his stay in Washington DC from September 25 to 30. She answered various questions of the journalists at a press conference in the presence of senior journalists of the country at Ganobhaban on October 4.

She told a news conference that the actions of many international organizations show that they are not very interested in sending the Rohingya back to their homeland in Myanmar. The Prime Minister further said that there are many organizations which are always responding well to the solution of the Rohingya crisis. Again some agencies do not show that interest in the question of repatriation. The Prime Minister has rightly raised the issue because that is the reality now. If this continues, the resolution of the Rohingya crisis will be protracted, which will not be good for Bangladesh.

The refugee problem poses a threat to the security and development of any country. When refugees stay in Turkey or when Afghan refugees stay in Pakistan, there is a crisis. When the Palestinians are in different countries, including Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, we see a kind of crisis in those countries that provide asylum. There are refugees in many countries of the world, each of whom has a state.

Nevertheless, the Rohingya in Myanmar are one of the most oppressed, persecuted people in the world, who did not become refugees after a war. Rather than war, they have taken refuge in Bangladesh as victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing. There is enough reason for such an oppressed people, who have no state, to think internationally.

Bangladesh has given shelter to a very vulnerable nation deprived of its civil rights. As a result, Bangladesh is facing various problems. But the view of the international community, various international organizations or various domestic non-governmental organizations on the Rohingya crisis is not very promising for us. As a result, the attitude of many towards these organizations is very negative. That is what our Prime Minister has tried to say. It is a kind of misleading talk about such displaced people without repatriation or permanent solution to the crisis, without considering the risks and problems of the asylum-seeking state.

On the other hand, we are also noticing a permanent solution to the Rohingya crisis. Not only that, there is a tendency of various international organizations to impose on Bangladesh a kind of imaginary, unrealistic thinking about Rohingyas. For example, many international organizations or important countries want Bangladesh to accept Rohingyas permanently. Such talk is very unfortunate for Bangladesh, which can not be desirable in any way.

However, no action has been taken or is being taken against the country that has carried out genocide and extreme human rights violations against the unarmed people. But why? Rohingyas have been forced to come to Bangladesh due to ethnic cleansing by the Myanmar government. So where does the world stand against the Myanmar government after all this? Or what role did the international community or organizations play in that country? In fact they did nothing. What happened was that crimes like genocide, torture, oppression, genocide were indulged.

The kind of pressure that the international community needs to put on Myanmar to solve the Rohingya problem, the kind of action that needs to be taken against Myanmar, has not been taken. This step will be taken not only by the United Nations and some other states, but also in a coordinated manner. Various international organizations, regional organizations and civil society organizations in different countries or various non-governmental organizations are not playing a proper role in this regard. But the problems should not be kept alive at all by their irrational attitude. What I want to emphasize is that because of the world community’s point of view, because of these problems, because of policy, they should come out of that point of view.

There may be some talk about Myanmar from different international levels.  But we do not see the need to keep up the pressure on Myanmar on the Rohingya issue. Those who have endangered the lives of these people, pushed them to the brink of crisis, that is, the Myanmar government or the military junta, are not moving in any way out of this crisis. In fact, Myanmar does not seem to have a problem with the Rohingya. So we should give importance to this place because this crisis is taking shape for Bangladesh.

As we can see, the modern and world-class shelter camp that Bangladesh has built in Bhasanchar with its own funds has also been questioned. It has been said that Bhasanchar is far away or it is not suitable and so on. Later they realized that the modern standard shelter camp at Bhasanchar was very useful. So why didn’t they understand six months ago? In other words, they are already having a negative attitude. Such attitudes should be avoided.

We do not see the role that the world community should play in resolving the Rohingya crisis in a lasting way and in returning their civil rights to Myanmar. On the contrary, the world community is talking and doing things that would only prolong the problem and keep it alive. In view of the situation, it seems that such activities are being carried out to keep the problem on the shoulders of Bangladesh.

We also see a kind of activity regarding the recent assassination of Rohingya leader Muhibullah. The murder took place inside Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s law enforcement is investigating the killings extensively and a solution will surely emerge. But it also shows that a kind of pressure is being put on Bangladesh.

Where Bangladesh is the most affected party in the Rohingya issue, the world community is pressuring for the murder of a Muhibullah! These are matters we should consider. Not just considerations, but should be vocal about it. Only by speaking out can we take a proper approach to tackling or resolving the Rohingya crisis.

The Prime Minister may have openly highlighted the role of international and non-governmental organizations in the Rohingya crisis. The main point of his speech is that domestic, regional and international organizations and various parties are not fulfilling their responsibilities for a lasting solution to the Rohingya crisis. Because their main target should be to ensure that these oppressed people return to Myanmar at any cost.

Forcing Myanmar on the Rohingya, helping to create an environment there and now is the time to do it. This is what the Prime Minister has indicated. Myanmar’s military has staged a military coup overnight, ousting its ally, Aung San Suu Kyi, and ruling the country. So far, more than 1,100 anti-military protesters have been killed by Myanmar’s military junta. Not only that, they are carrying out a horrific torture campaign inside Myanmar, especially against the Rohingya.

It is very important to put pressure on that state and take action against them. We do not see that the regional community is paying enough attention to this work. The same is true of the international community, the United Nations, and various regional organizations. They are playing some role in resolving the Rohingya; But they are not playing the role they should be. In some cases, they are walking in the opposite direction. If they really want to work for the endangered population, to establish the human rights of the Rohingya, then first of all they need to ensure that they return to Myanmar. They should highlight the kind of damage that is being done to Bangladesh by sheltering a large number of Rohingyas.

What kind of security threats and risks have been created for Bangladesh due to the sheltering of Rohingyas, the economic and environmental damage is being done – the issues are not raised in the reports of international and regional organizations. The Prime Minister has given importance to these issues. I think the issue should be realized from the civil society as well. There needs to be a re-orientation or a change of perspective on the whole crisis.

The regional crisis that is being created as a result of this problem, which is having a lot of negative effects internationally, should be reflected in the activities of various international and regional organizations, the issue should be highlighted. Only then I think Bangladesh will see a glimmer of hope in resolving the Rohingya crisis.

Tareq Hasan
Tareq Hasan
Tareq Hasan, is an independent political analyst who writes on politics, public policy, political and human centred figures, diplomacy and current national, and international affairs.