Foreign ministry summons Myanmar envoy over Rohingya crisis

The foreign ministry has summoned the Myanmar envoy and expressed concerns over a renewed crisis as more Rohingyas, fleeing persecution, cross the border to Bangladesh.

Published : 23 Nov 2016, 12:04 PM
Updated : 23 Nov 2016, 04:09 PM

Ambassador U Myo Myint Than was at the ministry for a meeting with Additional Secretary Kamrul Ahsan on Wednesday.

He has been informed about Dhaka’s concerns over the situation, Kamrul told reporters after the meeting.

Dhaka hoped Naypyidaw would improve security for Rohingyas so the refugees in Bangladesh can return home, he said.

The foreign ministry said in a statement that the government aired concerns over Myanmar army's ongoing actions in Rakhine State 'causing dire consequences to the people and implications to Bangladesh.'

The envoy has been told that despite efforts of the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) to prevent the influx, thousands of Myanmar citizens are continuing to cross the border into Bangladesh.

The statement said Dhaka also protested against Myanmar media's 'tendency to implicate Bangladesh into the incidents.'

Ambassador Than has also been urged to give 'due consideration' to the international community's call for an impartial investigation into the alleged indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force and human rights violation during the military operation in Rakhine.

Dhaka also requested Naypyidaw to initiate urgent measures so that the Muslim minorities are not forced to seek shelter across the border.

The Myanmar government has been rejecting allegations by residents and rights groups that soldiers have burnt houses and killed civilians during the military operation.

The army has declared the Muslim Rohingya-majority northern Rakhine as an "operations zone", where it claims to be battling Islamist insurgents.

The government has blocked international journalists from visiting the area.

The military crackdown began after nine border police personnel were killed in attacks by 'insurgents' at three outposts on Oct 9.

Authorities have confirmed 86 deaths and said that 69 of them were suspected militants. Rights groups claim the number is much higher.

Hundreds of Rohingyas are trying to cross the border into Bangladesh amid escalating violence.

The Myanmar government denies the Rohingya flight, but Bangladesh border guards have pushed hundreds of them back to their country in the last few days.

The 1.1 million Rohingyas are seen as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh by many of the country's majority Buddhists.

They are denied citizenship and face severe restrictions on their travel.

Up to 30,000 people are now estimated to be displaced and thousands more affected by the recent fighting, the UN has said.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher