Min Naing Soe
The displaced person camps in the eastern part of Bangladesh side will be likely to experience possible floods as the monsoon sets in and consequently, waterborne diseases including cholera may also occur. If so, the elderly, the children and the girls may be even dead. The situation could delay our repatriation process. Anyhow, Bangladesh will be responsible for potential setbacks when the monsoon sets in, said Zaw Htay, Director-General of the State Counsellor Office.
Zaw Htay criticised Bangladesh for using delaying tactics in Myanmar’s repatriation process as Myanmar is now doing everything with care for the sake of mutual friendship and diplomatic relations.
“The displaced person camps will see troubles as the monsoon sets in and it will result in damages and deaths. If so, the world nations will hold negative view and blame Myanmar for this situation. For that reason, Myanmar is repeatedly telling it’s going to rain and troubles are coming. Start the repatriation process without delay. If something happens as we said, Bangladesh will be responsible for all bad situations,” said Zaw Htay.
Myanmar and Bangladesh signed the accord including the approved points mainly mentioned in the 1993 repatriation agreement in order to implement the repatriation process of IDPs in Rakhine State. The agreement is to start repatriation process in the next two months. For the first batch, Myanmar sent a list of more than 1200 IDPs including Hindus and Muslims to Bangladesh, but it has not been replied yet, Zaw Htay said.
The IDPs have to fill the forms agreed by Myanmar and Bangladesh. Myanmar has already distributed soft copies and hard copies to them. Myanmar delegation led by Dr Win Myat Aye, Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement paid a visit to Bangladesh. Upon arrival at the IDP camp, the minister asked the IDPs if they filled the forms. They replied that they were unaware of these forms. Local authorities failed to tell the IDPs to fill the forms, Zaw Htay said.
“The IDPs returns their native places and they can be back to original livelihoods as well as they can get other employments. When they start enjoying income, they don’t need international assistance any longer. The situation will go like so in the long run. It is required to speedily implement the repatriation process agreed by both countries,” Zaw Htay said.
The Second Meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on the Repatriation of Verified Displaced Persons was held at the State Guest House of Bangladesh on 17 May in Bangladesh.
Myanmar side reiterated its readiness to receive the verified displaced persons from Bangladesh and urged the Bangladeshi side to commence the repatriation of the earlier verified 778 Muslims and 444 Hindus as well as 1101 verified persons (as of 2 May 2018) out of 8,032 persons received from the Bangladeshi side, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Translated and Edited by Win Htut